RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Impacts from Tropical Storm Hilary prompted all school districts in the Coachella Valley to close Monday, while western Riverside County districts continued classes on schedule, with one exception in Norco, where flooding outside an elementary school led to a precautionary closure.
“Many roads in our district and the surrounding areas remain flooded,” according to a statement posted by the Coachella Valley Unified School District. “Your safety is our priority, and the district … adjusted (Monday’s) work schedule out of an abundance of caution.”
Schools district-wide were shuttered, though maintenance personnel and other staff went to work as planned to conduct inspections and ensure facilities remained operational.
Most campuses were expected to reopen at their customary times Tuesday, officials said.
The CVUSD’s Desert Mirage High School in Thermal was serving as a temporary shelter for those in the area displaced because of storm damage.
The Desert Sands and Palm Springs unified school districts were also under emergency closures Monday, though the Palo Verde Unified School District in Blythe remained open.
Officials at the Banning Unified School District said that transportation interruptions stemming from road closures east of the city prevented many students from reaching campuses Monday. However, all sites were in operation.
Administrators at school districts throughout western Riverside County sent messages via social media Sunday night, saying campuses would stay open Monday, with no modified schedules, after checks were made to ensure there were no safety threats.
“Our district teams prepared for the potential impacts of Tropical Storm Hilary,” Jurupa Unified School District Superintendent Trenton Hansen said in an online message intended for parents and guardians. “They placed sandbags where needed and cleared storm drains and gutters, readied emergency water and food supplies and completed many other tasks to ensure (Monday) went smoothly. The decision to keep schools open was not an easy one and involved much consideration.”
In the neighboring Corona-Norco Unified School District, only one campus was affected by the storm activity — Norco Elementary School.
The district posted a statement on its website, saying “unsafe roadway conditions in front of our school and on First Street” were impeding the right-of-way leading into the Norco Elementary School campus. Hence, CNUSD Superintendent Sam Buenrostro decided to close it for the day.
There was a possibility of another closure Tuesday, but the decision was not expected to be announced until Monday evening.
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