Stormy Weather Impacts Schools
By: Lexi Wright
An aggressive windstorm knocked out power and prompted The City of Red Deer to declare a local state of emergency on Tuesday night.
"We do know that it was a severe windstorm. We do know that there were exceedances of 112 km/h winds,'' said Red Deer Mayor, Tara Veer.
Since the storm occurred, Red Deer Public Schools has taken a look at all their school facilities and assessed them for damage and its impact on operations. Red Deer Public Schools would like to specifically thank Darren Skrepnyk with RDPSD Facility Services for all of his hard work.
Last night, Red Deer Public Schools was on-scene at all of their sites assessing the situation. Red Deer Public School staff arrived at 6 a.m. and initially made a decision to close five schools due to power outages. Schools are anticipated to operate as normal however, decisions impacting their operation are made early in the morning to consider transportation and childcare arrangements.
Normally when there are power disruptions, asschool will operate as usual. During extended power outages, the emergency lighting systems in the bathrooms and hallways as well as alarm systems will not operate so a decision is mad for the school to close.
Originally Joseph Welsh Elementary School, Grandview Elementary School, and Oriole Park Elementary school closed because they were without power at 6 a.m. Power came back on later in the morning so their status was updated and classes were back on.
Red Deer Public Schools has been working closely with The City of Red Deer Emergency Response Services in terms of assessing the situation and how to most appropriately respond.
In terms of school closures, Mountview Elementary School was closed today primarily because of the power situation. Gateway Christian School was closed due to extensive damage to the property and around the building. Aspen Heights Schools also experienced fallen trees however, those were cleared early on in the morning and the school opened at a regular time.
Red Deer Public Schools's biggest priority is the safety and education of students. In terms of communicating with families, Red Deer Public Schools utilized social media feeds including Facebook, Twitter, and the RDPSD website. Text and phone messages were sent out where needed to get information to families as soon as possible.
Red Deer Public Schools appreciates the significant work of the City of Red Deer and all crews working together to get our city operating as usual. People have been working very hard overnight and the district is extremely grateful for that.
Aspen Heights Photos
Gateway Christian Photos