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Despite road closures, kids get to school

POSTED: May 20, 2013 11:40 p.m.

Though severe weather Saturday night washed out roadways in Flowery Branch, most students in the area made it to school Monday morning.

Jewel Armour, executive director of transportation for Hall County Schools, said he and his staff were out surveying the damage and speaking with emergency management personnel Sunday afternoon to find the best alternate routes for buses.

Heavy rains caused several road closures in the Flowery Branch and West Hall areas of the district. Ten buses were rerouted to pick up and drop off students in the affected areas.

Armour said he anticipated trouble with Atlanta Highway because many students are picked up along the road, but it was reopened early Monday morning.

Armour said he did not believe any students were missed during the process of rerouting.

“We did not get a lot of phone calls,” Armour said. “Which I kind of thought we might but we didn’t. It turned out really well.”

Armour credits the system’s drivers, staff and parental patience for the smooth student pickup and drop-offs.

System spokesman Gordon Higgins said the schools notified parents in those areas through an instant messaging system in the morning that buses would be coming for students.

Higgins said student attendance seemed to be fairly normal, though many students were “understandably tardy.”

Armour said timing was the biggest issue since it took bus drivers longer than usual to run the new routes. Buses will continue using the routes as needed until roadways are reopened.

“The timing will be affected a little bit,” Armour said. “But at least we’re getting them to and from school.”


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