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Districts Throughout Florida Panhandle To Keep Schools Closed Friday After Sally's Flooding

deer point elementary.jpg
Valerie Crowder, WFSU
Deer Point Elementary School in Bay County

A number of western Panhandle counties will keep schools closed Friday, after Hurricane Sally caused catastrophic flooding throughout the region. That includes the state’s farthest-west counties of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton.

Gadsden County, further east, in the Big Bend, faced significant flooding and will keep schools closed Friday as well.

After flooding of local roads caused by Hurricane Sally, Bay County Schools will be closed for students and teachers for the remainder of this week.

Bill Husfelt, the district’s superintendent, says buildings and facilities fared well during the storm, but not everyone is able to move about on the roads.

The structural problems we were dealing with are still part of the hurricane from two years ago. It’s still leaking where it leaked because of the hurricane, and a little bit like that,” Husfelt told WFSU Thursday. “But, we did not have any real water intrusion, the schools are in great shape. If it wasn’t for the roads that are washed out and the flooding and rising waters we are still experiencing, we would have had school tomorrow.

“There’s just so many areas of our community that are still devastated and dealing with issues ... we’re always concerned about transportation and getting buses out.”

Athletic practices in the district can be held on voluntary basis, and Husfelt says Friday night lights still have the go-ahead; the first home football game of the season is still set go be played.

Ryan Dailey is a reporter/producer for WFSU/Florida Public Radio. After graduating from Florida State University, Ryan went into print journalism working for the Tallahassee Democrat for five years. At the Democrat, he worked as a copy editor, general assignment and K-12 education reporter.