Superintendent: Schools to provide disaster support

Mark Tye carries a cup of coffee as he walks across flooded Main Street from his apartment on Monday morning. Rich Cooley/Daily

Monday, as flood waters forced Woodstock residents out of their homes, Shenandoah County Public Schools worked with the Department of Social Services and the Red Cross to provide shelter.

Superintendent Jeremy Raley said he opened Peter Muhlenberg Middle School in Woodstock after receiving a phone call from the Shenandoah County Department Fire and Rescue on Monday morning asking for space to house residents mainly from the Wood Park Lane trailer park who had been evacuated from their homes.

Raley didn’t know how many residents were at the school or how long they might stay, but he said the school would remain available as long as the community needed it.

As of Monday afternoon, the school system planned to partner with Social Services and Red Cross by providing space in which Social Services would run a shelter and Red Cross would bring any necessary supplies.

Though not intended at the time, school-based food services would be made available to local agencies, if needed.

“They can certainly make that request of us,” Raley said.

As a school, Peter Muhlenberg is an ideal location for a community relief center, he said.

“Number one, it’s a pretty large space, so you can house multiple citizens.”

The middle school has a cafeteria, a kitchen and restroom facilities that can aid a large group of individuals, and he said the school’s generator provides electricity on a limited basis to power some lights and run basic appliances so the school can maintain basic services.

As of Monday afternoon, the division’s maintenance department had reported only a minor roof leak from the morning’s precipitation, so Raley had few concerns that the storm would have a great impact on school buildings.

The School Board office was open on Monday, but the division offered liberal leave to employees who could not make it in to work due to the flooding.

Contact staff writer Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com