Hurricane Laura prompts school closing as phase-in begins

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photo or infographic by National Hurricane Center

LAURA'S PATH. A map from the National Hurricane Center shows the projected path of Hurricane Laura/

by Charnell Haywood, VOW co-editor

Winds varying 74 mph, a Category 1, to winds reaching higher than 174 mph, a Category 5. No hurricane is ever pleasant. But the timing of Hurricane Laura seems overwhelmingly inconvenient as schools are reopening after a global pandemic. 

When Hurricane Laura makes landfall later this week, it is expected to be a category 3 which means winds 111-129 mph. Damage is expected. All broadcasts and news stations are warning about damage and issuing evacuation orders for the towns along the Gulf Coast.

Because of the uncertainty of the extent of the damage and strength of Laura, school officials announced school closures for Thursday and Friday. Wednesday all students will return to remote learning because of predicted traffic conditions and no employees will report to school.

“Due to crowded roadways from evacuations and the predicted impact of Hurricane Laura, teachers and students will work remote online Wednesday, August 26,” the district website said. “The district will be completely closed Thursday and Friday, August 27-28 and there will be no online learning those days. Stay safe, Wildkats!”

Safety is a top priority when making decisions about school closures. 

“Well for starters keeping the children safe is a must, and as a society this will help better us for any future events,” senior Hope Flores said. “I’m neutral about it. I want the rain, but I don’t want people to get hurt or lose their homes.”

Students were planned to phase in in-campus learning this week, with the freshman and sophomores returning on Tuesday.

“I was really looking forward to going back to school because online school isn’t that good,” junior Luis Rodriguez said. “This is nothing like Harvey because we actually went to school before the hurricane, and this year we haven’t.” 

Some are not upset with the closure of school, but worry about the return after the hurricane has been through. Thoughts go back about Hurricane Harvey.

“I’m okay with school closing as long as they don’t make us make up the days,” senior Alberta Robert said. “A couple years ago we were out of school for almost a week, and when we went back it was hard to get things started again. Some kids weren’t able to come back because their roads and houses were flooded.” 

Hurricane Laura has taken away the reopening of schools, and some worry that it will take away power from their homes. To be caution for the upcoming storm, people must avoid going places. 

“I am so sad that school is being canceled because I will not get to see my friends and teachers,” junior Cole Arnold said. “I think people should stay home in preparation for the hurricane and not drive on roads. I do not really think this will affect my learning, but if anything I just won’t have power.” 

This is just another test for the seniors who are ready for their senior year to happen. Patience is key to make it through these tough trials. 

“I’m honestly kind of disappointed,” senior Kayla Lyons said. “We’ve had a lot of opposition thrown at us this year so it’s hard to hear that once again, we aren’t able to be back. But I know we’ll all be back soon and it’s just a practice of patience.”