Since the beginning of the month, flood waters have continued to rise along the Mississippi River from Illinois now all the way to the Gulf Coast, submerging many communities and disrupting their operations, including school busing.
Some districts, like Assumption Parish in Napoleonville, La., have decided to close schools. Assumption Parish’s school board recently voted to end the 2010-2011 school year this Friday, May 20. The school board also agreed to exempt middle school students from taking their final exams because of concerns related to the flooding.
Experts are predicting that the flood with break all records associated with the Great Flood of 1927, a disaster that flooded 27,000 square miles, killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands of others. President Obama made his way to affected areas earlier this week, even giving a commencement speech at Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tenn. The President’s trip to Memphis included a meeting with flood victims and emergency responders.
“We are here today because every single one of you stood tall,” said President Obama during the speech on May 16 in Memphis.
In the same city, a school bus lot sat drenched in the dirty waters of the Mississippi, waters that officials are warning residents to steer clear of due to the presence of a mixture of fertilizer, oil, pesticides, trash and untreated sewage. Elsewhere, homes have been completely under water for two weeks.
As of this writing, multiple messages left with several districts in the affected areas have yet to be returned. This article will be updated with more responses as they come in.