Is Wilma as bad as Florence or Jeanne or Katrina? Florida schools are seeking to answer this odd-sounding but necessary question this week, as they assess the affect of the latest in a string of big storms to directly blast through that state. Many schools on both coasts are shut down. Collier County, on the Gulf Coast, experienced its most powerful direct hit since 1960, inspiring the “Lucky no more” headline in today’s Naples Daily News. Read more here.
Across the state, Atlantic coast schools were slammed as well. The area surrounding the Broward County schools administration building in Fort Lauderdale resembles “a war zone,” reports the Miami Herald. All the 14-story building’s windows are blown out, with “all manner of school district paperwork strewn around streets near the building.” That county’s public schools are closed the rest of the week, mainly due to power outtages, as damage is assessed. The school district was just getting around to gearing up its support for those affected by a previous hurricane.
As of this morning, six million Floridians are without power. Long term power outtages is a major reason for another debilitating and often very expensive condition impacting schools affected by hurricanes: mold. And now, schools in Northeastern Atlantic states are getting ready, such as this school district in Connecticut.