Schools in Evans and Tattnall counties will be closed Friday, but Bulloch County Schools will remain open, despite some road closures because of accumulated rain.
An alert from Bulloch County Emergency Management Director Ted Wynn before noon Thursday listed seven road segments as closed. Still, with the bus rides of very few students affected by the road closures, the Bulloch County Schools would be open, Hayley Greene, the school system's public relations specialist, said in the afternoon.
School system officials were continuing to consult the Bulloch County Emergency Management Agency as Wynn and his staff monitored weather and road conditions.
"Of our more than 10,300 students and 100 bus routes, very few are affected by road closures and conditions," said a statement Greene released. "Our transportation department is contacting the few families whose bus transportation will be temporarily interrupted."
If necessary, the statement continued, the schools will work with any families who live in the "confirmed, isolated areas that received heavier damage."
Closed road sections
The closed road sections in Wynn's notice were Jerusalem Church Road from JW Lane to Stilson-Leefield Road; JW Lane from Jerusalem Church to Cliff Knight Road; Golf Club Road at the bridge near Burkhalter Road; Zettwell Road from Clito Road to Spring Creek Road; Jim Waters Road from Clifton Road to Harville Road; John Proctor Road from Langston Chapel Road to Lanier Drive; and Railroad Bed Road from Robertson Road to Arcola Road.
These sections remained closed, Wynn confirmed as nightfall approached.
With little further chance of rain forecast, Wynn said he was hopeful that breezes Friday would produce drying conditions.
"I think we're in pretty good shape," he said. "The Department of Transportation is out doing everything they can to open up what they can open up, but there's still a lot of water to get out of the creeks and move on down the line."
Water could still appear over roads in other places as it moves downstream, he noted.
His emailed alert contained this warning: "Remember: Turn around, Don't Drown. Never drive through water over a road as it takes only several inches of water to disable some vehicles."
The school system's announcement contained a similar caution, and encouraged parents to advise student drivers to drive slowly and leave room for braking.
"Parents may also want to evaluate if their student drivers have adequate experience with driving in wet conditions, and if not, parents may want to provide transportation for them tomorrow," said the schools' notice.
Evans and Tattnall closures
After a decision by Evans County Schools Superintendent Joy Collins, the school system in Claxton will be closed for students Friday, but faculty and staff were to report from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The school system sent a phone alert to parents, and a staff member provided a copy by email.
Pinewood Christian Academy, the private school in Bellville, was to be closed for faculty, staff and students, as indicated in the email.
The Tattnall County Schools, with campuses at Collins, Glennville and Reidsville, sent students home before noon Thursday and were to remain closed today.
"The road conditions were very bad this morning for our buses to travel. With the continued rain throughout the day, the road conditions will continue to deteriorate," stated the announcement on the Tattnall school system's website.
Calls to central offices of the Bryan County, Candler County, Emanuel County, Jenkins County and Screven County school system central offices between 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Thursday found that all were planning to be open Friday. Some of the receptionists and superintendents' secretaries who answered said that this might be subject to change if further rains set in.
Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.