carvalho miami supt Miami-Dade County Public Schools/Facebook
Miami School Supt. Albert Carvalho

Schools throughout Florida remain closed as officials assess hurricane damage

Many schools may be closed for several days as the state works to recover from powerful storm.

Many school systems in Florida expect to remain closed at least through Tuesday as workers try to gauge the facilities damage incurred from Hurricane Irma.

The Miami Herald reports that the state's two largest district, Miami-Dade and Broward County, will be closed until further notice.

"Access to schools is limited due to downed trees, power lines, and debris," Miami school superintendent Albert Carvalho said in a Facebook post. "We are surveying our schools today, trying to asses damage. The structural integrity of our buildings is strong, but it's still too early to tell when we can reopen."

Broward County School Supt. Robert Runcie says the district's damage assessment team is conducting initial safety surveys Monday morning of all facilities' conditions

"Reopening schools requires coordination with the county & [Florida Power & Light] on condition of roads, restoration of power, & closure of shelters," Runcie said in a Twitter post.

In Miami, schools will almost certainly remain closed through Wednesday, and may stay shuttered for the entire week as the shelter operations at dozens of schools wind down, and cleanup continues.

The Hillsborough County School District, which includes Tampa, also is completing a damage assessment Monday.

"Definitely closed through Tuesday, maybe beyond," the district said on Twitter.

Other large districts—Orange County (Orlando), Pinellas County (St. Petersburg), Duval County (Jacksonville) and Palm Beach County—also are closed through at least Tuesday.

In Miami, Carvalho says there are no reports of major structural damage at schools, but felled trees and other damage left many sites inaccessible. Some schools being used as shelters are still housing people. And with so many school employees who left the area to escape the storm, it’s not clear how quickly teachers and staff will be able to return to work, teh superintendent says.

“I am thankful we were able to dodge the grenade, but not the bullet,” Carvalho said. “Access to some schools remains somewhat limited. But the structural integrity of our school building did very solid and very strong.”

 

 

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