MEMPHIS, Tenn. — School officials in McNairy County have decided to resume classes Wednesday. The schools have been closed as crews worked to repair roads damaged by recent floods.
Tuesday was another day off for elementary school students in McNairy County. Flood waters shut down as many as 30 roads, and school officials decided it was unsafe for students to travel, especially on the county’s back roads.
That decision was just fine with parents and grandparents we spoke with.
“I think they should close schools when the weather is real bad like this. Because it’s really dangerous for them to get the school buses out on the roads,” grandparent Deborah Kiser said. “When they called my phone last night, they told me that due to the severity of the water over the roads they were going to close today. For the safety of the children.”
While the kids played, crews with the McNairy County Highway Department were working another 12-hour shift to get all the county’s roads up again.
“What we’re repairing now is ‘washout,’ like on the shoulders of the road, that washed away when the flood waters got over the roads,” Harvey Smith, with McNairy County Highway Department, said.
Smith says some roads may look okay, even after the water receeds. But his crew found serious erosion problems on Rowsey School Road near Bethel Springs.
Smith says this was one reason the county’s school superintendent decided to keep schools closed on Tuesday, for the sake of bus drivers and students. “His concern is with the safety of the kids. Got a lot of young drivers on the road that are not experienced in driving in flooded water or damaged roads. That’s the main concern, the safety of the children.”
On Monday, we showed you flooding caused by the Tennessee River in Hardin County. Smith says the same flood waters also caused road closures in McNairy County.
While school officials have now decided to resume classes Wednesday, the price tag for road repairs is expected to be several hundred dollars.