HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Schools at the district here were open on Thursday after being closed for several days because a tornado damaged nearly all of the district’s buses.
The Hattiesburg American reported that a tornado that hit Forrest and Lamar counties on Sunday damaged 25 of Hattiesburg Public School District’s (HPSD) 27 buses, and the district was then unable to transport its 4,500 bus riders.
The district’s bus garage, transportation center and transportation office also sustained damage, Superintendent James Bacchus told the newspaper. He said that the district would need 15 to 20 more buses to run its routes, and it was loaned a total of nine buses from neighboring districts for assistance.
Later in the week, The Hattiesburg American reported that the district was able to resume classes on Thursday due to the assistance from neighboring pupil transportation operations.
On the district’s website, officials posted a statement indicating that schools would be open on Thursday, and there would also be full school days on Friday and Monday.
“We will be using buses on loan from a number of different districts,” the district said in the statement. “The number of the bus that normally runs the route will be posted in the window to help students identify which bus to get on. There will also be a handful of HPSD buses, but they may not be on their normal route.”
The district will be using buses from Forrest, Marion, Green, Perry, Jefferson Davis, Pearl and Lamar counties.
Other news about tornadoes and pupil transportation:
• Ind. district keeps students safe during tornado
• Ind. district increases safety measures after tornado