Tentative plans have Jones County students returning October 15th

Published: Sep. 25, 2018 at 4:16 PM EDT
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Students in one Eastern Carolina County will be out of class for at least another two weeks.

Jones County's school board announced this afternoon that tentative plans call for students to come back to class on October 15th.

Flood waters from the Trent River heavily damaged Trenton Elementary and Jones Middle schools so much that school leaders say children cannot return to those buildings.

The school board says staff will return to work October 8th and will use that week as a transition for those teachers relocating to available space in other school buildings.

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The Jones County school superintendent says they are looking at students returning to class by the middle of next month.

Two schools were heavily damaged by the hurricane and the school system says students will not be able to return to Trenton Elementary or Jones Middle School.

Dr. Michael Bracy said during an afternoon news conference with other county leaders that they are estimating school to resume in the county around October 15th.

He said there was evidence that three feet of water were in some places at the two schools, while they were not able to save equipment and other resources prior to the hurricane.

Bracy said the school board will meet at 5:00 p.m. Monday to go over plans for students returning to class.

The rural county received heavy damage when the Trent River reached historic flood levels.

In emotional remarks, Sheriff Danny Heath said there were no fatalities in the county and that first responders did an amazing job.

"No one expected what came and everyone stepped up to do what they had to do, I couldn't even get to my own family," said the sheriff.

Jones County has set up a help number for county residents. That number is 252-397-0007 and will be staffed weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The county has also set up a relief fund. Checks should be made out to the Jones County Relief Fund and mailed to Jones County Finance Officer Brenda Reece, 418 Highway 58 North, Unit A, Trenton, NC 28585.

Jones County Needs

• Mosquito repellant

• Cleaning supplies (mops, brooms, dust pans, facemasks, sponges, buckets, spray bottles, wipes, etc.)

• Canned vegetables

• Dry cereal, cereal bars

• Paper goods – napkins, plates, cups, forks, knives, spoons

• Feminine products

• Adult diapers

• Quart-sized, gallon-sized Ziploc bags

Do not need

• Water

• Baby supplies

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Two Eastern Carolina schools that were flooded by Hurricane Florence will never reopen.

Jones County school administrators confirmed to WITN that Jones Middle School and Trenton Elementary School can't be used for students.

Over 20-inches of water from the Trent River got into the buildings and administrators say it is unsafe to go into the schools because of mold growth. The school system is also concerned about the possible presence of bacteria in the water that is still on the floors.

The school system is one of several here in Eastern Carolina that remain closed. They are working on a plan to get the students into four other buildings the school system still has for the time being.

A new $40-million K-12 school is under construction outside of Trenton. That building was unharmed by the storm and is still on track to open next fall.

There is no word yet on when classes for Jones County students will resume.