SUNOL, Calif. - A school in Sunol was first heavily damaged by floodwaters in last weekend’s storm. Now after surviving Wednesday’s storm, they’re hoping to restart classes on Monday. The school needs to replace some supplies lost in the flooding and is asking for the community’s help.
The Sunol Glen School campus grounds looked more like a swamp after the storm moved across the Bay Area on New Year’s Eve. The flooding left several inches of mud on campus, destroyed playground equipment and shifted three portable bungalows from their original location.
"Mud of course was everywhere, fences around the entire property have been damaged from debris coming up against it. Some of them have actually fallen over. We had a few water lines that were busted. Just a general big mess," said Lowell Hoxie, Sunol Glen School Director Of Operations.
Director of Operations Lowell Hoxie says the flooding is a result of Sinbad Creek overflowing and an older bridge nearby that caused the water to back up. The creek’s water receded a few days later, giving school officials a chance to prepare for Wednesday’s atmospheric river storm.
"We had parents come down, board members, a lot of people that were able to come down. We put sand bags up around the classroom doors, into what we would perceive as the lane of the water. Hoping to mitigate the next wave of the storm," said Molly Barnes, Sunol Glen School Principal.
Barnes says they were able to clean up much of the campus and only one classroom sustained damage. She says some office space was also damaged and with more rain on the way, they aren’t sure yet if classes will resume on Monday.
"Opening the school is predicated on the safety of the campus and so a big factor is we want to make sure the sewer lanes are clear and operable. So we do have somebody coming out tomorrow, which is Friday, to make sure the sewer lanes are OK," Barnes said.
Barnes says the students will return to distance learning for no longer than a week if they can’t start classes on Monday. They’ve also started a fundraising campaign to help replace books, art supplies, games and furniture destroyed by the flood.
As the Bay Area gets ready for more rain this week, district leaders plan to reach out to the state about getting the bridge repaired so this level flooding won’t happen again.