New Rochelle and Rye schools open after extensive flood damage
Some Westchester schools reopened today after delays from flood damage from Ida.
The first day of school was pushed back by a few days for the New Rochelle and Rye school districts.
In Rye, floodwater damaged parts of the middle and high school buildings, including the boiler system and the electrical system, leaving the district with no way to keep the lights on for students and staff returning for in-person learning. The building maintenance crew installed temporary boilers while the district stands by for permanent ones to deliver. Both schools reopened today after the cleanup.
In New Rochelle, parts of the high school were submerged under 10 feet of floodwater. School officials say the high school won’t be open to students for in-person learning until at least late October to early November. The middle school was back up and running this morning with in-person learning.
It’s a light at the end of the tunnel for many students who have been itching to get back to the classroom to see their friends and teachers again. "I got a ton of responses from families who are so excited — kids are excited just to get back to the normalcy. You know, it's so much damage in the community and the kids are excited. It's a beautiful day. We can't have a better day for opening school," says School Superintendent Eric Byrne.
"I'm excited to make new friends with a lot of other people," says Elle Ridley, of Rye. "A bit nervous, but I'm happy that I have all my friends,” adds Mackenzy Somerville, of Rye.
And those nerves and high spirits are seen through the masks of students and parents alike. "Beyond excited, they are so excited to get into the building and making friends," says Katy Ridley, parent.