Storm Assessments Show Minimal Damage Sustained From Hurricane Irene

Damage assessments conducted in the wake of Hurricane Irene showed that V.I. public schools in both districts sustained minimal damage and would still be ready to open next week, officials announced Thursday.

On St. Croix, Insular Superintendent Gary Molloy said that assessment teams were assembled early Tuesday morning and dispatched to all ends of the island. Water damage was expected and found in some areas, but maintenance crews worked quickly on the cleanup, which included clearing drains around the schools that had become clogged with debris.

Molloy said crews will continue to monitor problem flooding areas, such as the Juanita Gardine, Alfredo Andrews and Eulalie Rivera elementary schools, along with the St. Croix Central High School.

“We have done the necessary cleanups, but we know we have to continue to watch these sites so we can come out ahead of the storms in the future,” Molloy said.

On St. Thomas-St. John, Deputy Superintendent Joseph Sibilly said no significant damage was sustained by the schools during the storm. After an assessment early Monday, Sibilly said that his crews did turn up normal debris and leaks in a few of the classrooms, but found nothing that would delay the opening of schools next week.

The biggest problem reported was the loss of three sheets of plywood from the walkway area at Addelita Cancryn Junior High School, which will have to be replaced, Sibilly said.

“Luckily, we were in the ending stages of finishing the schools for the summer,” he explained. “Many of our landscapers and other contractors were out there already, so they are able to get some of these things cleaned up fairly quickly.”

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