I heard my phone buzzing around three on Thursday morning.
A warning that the Schuylkill River was reaching flood stage. We’re 12 blocks away from the river, so when the alarm went off at 7:30, to us it looked like a lovely day. We weren’t aware of the dangerous situation unfolding a mile away.
My 7th grader walked out the door to head to school at 8:15, then my phone started blowing up.
Utter confusion! Some were getting robo calls announcing a two-hour delay while others heard nothing. So many students were on their way to school as the flood waters were rising. One parent on a text thread was worried his high schooler was on Broad Street, not able to get into her school.
Dr. William Hite says yes, the alert went out later than they would have liked. He explained that it was an evolving situation. Earlier in the morning Septa was running its normal routes and in some cases, children were already on buses, he says the vast majority of schools did not open late.
The staggered bell schedule means many schools don’t open until 9:00. Hite says there was more of an indication as this hour approached, that road conditions were bad.
As far as school damage, Hite says there was a roof leak and a ceiling tile fell, but the issue had been inspected and resolved.
An announcement is expected later today about dismissal plans and school tomorrow. Stay tuned.