Heavy rain and flooding in the Midwest led to at least two school buses in Illinois and Missouri becoming stranded on Thursday, but no injuries were reported in either incident.
In Oswego, Ill., a contractor’s school bus slid into a ditch along a washed-out section of road on Thursday morning. Police and fire personnel responded, and four students and the driver were evacuated from the stuck bus.
“We are pleased to report all are safe, parents were contacted and a second bus was dispatched to transport the students to school,” said Matthew Wendt, superintendent of Oswego Community Unit School District 308.
Wendt noted that the district had decided at about 5:15 Thursday morning to have school. The district is advised by several outside agencies, including law enforcement and Kendall County Emergency Operations. Wendt said that the decision to have school on Thursday was consistent with those of neighboring school districts.
“As the morning progressed, our advising agencies and personnel informed the school district some roads were rapidly declining due to flooding, and road closures soon followed,” Wendt said. “These conditions created major challenges for the school district, especially at the elementary levels.”
In some cases, bus services were postponed. Also, another accident blocked an access point to one of the district’s elementary schools.
The district dismissed students early, and after-school activities were canceled.
“By working with our law enforcement and emergency personnel, School District 308 staff worked tirelessly to assure the safety and security of our students remained a priority,” Wendt said. “We appreciate all of the patience and cooperation during this unusual weather event.”
Also on Thursday morning, near Ava, Mo., a school bus became stranded in an area between two low water crossings that became inundated, KY3-TV reports.
According to the news source, Douglas County Sheriff Chris Degase said that the first creek crossing had been passable when the bus came through. The second creek crossing was not passable, so the bus driver turned around and went back to the first crossing, which had been overtaken at that point.
KY3-TV reports that the bus driver took his passengers to a home on the hill between the creeks, and they waited until the waters subsided. Degase stressed that the bus driver did not drive into any water.