Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7:25 a.m., when many students were either already on the bus or preparing to leave for school, Henderson County Public Schools (HCPS) called for a two-hour delay. Buses had already gone on their routes, and many students had already been dropped off.
The conditions of Tropical Storm Michael earlier in the morning led many students and faculty members to wonder if their routes to school would be safe. At 5:40 a.m., Henderson County was under a hazardous weather outlook, flash flood watch, hurricane local statement, tropical storm warning, flash flood warning and flood advisory.
Despite the rough weather, the students and teachers present began to settle in for the two hours of free time they would have. Some students went to teachers’ rooms to work on homework and missed assignments, and others socialized in the cafeteria or gym. At about 8:45, an announcement was made that all students and faculty were to report to the cafeteria.
Siren sounds blared from a megaphone through the cafeteria at 8:55 a.m., capturing the attention of students and teachers alike, and silencing the excited chatter. After the 10 second announcement, shouts of frustration and exhilaration rang out through the halls. HCPS had called off school for the day.
“I’m mad because I woke up at 6:00, and then I got here, and then when I was at school, they cancelled,” senior Luke Johnson said. “I feel like it’s very incompetent.”
Other students, like junior Riley Hill, were happy about getting to leave, despite the confusion of the alerts.
“I feel good that I’ll have more time to get schoolwork done,” Hill said. “ But I did not expect this, because I got all the way to school, and then it got delayed. I thought maybe we would get out early, but I didn’t think it would get cancelled.”
Teachers were also taken by surprise by the late decisons.
“When I woke up and looked outside, I immediately thought that this was worse than anything we had ever seen before,” English teacher Matthew Parent said. “On my drive to work, there was lots of debris on the road, and it was raining really hard, and it was worse than what we saw with Florence. I was actually quite surprised that we didn’t have a delay sooner.”
Student drivers were allowed to leave, and parents could pick their students up through the car rider line. However, this left some students stranded at school until 3:00 p.m., when the buses would leave school, according to the HCPS Twitter account.
“Because of unsafe travel concerns, students who have already been dropped or arrived to school by bus will be supervised by school staff today,” the HCPS Twitter account said. “School buses will not run again until regular dismissal hours this afternoon.”
By: Elise Trexler, Web Editor-in-Chief