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Snow Removal Update; Threat of Flooding

January 15 Update: 17 Schools Complete, in Progress

Article Date: Jan 15, 2017

Update: 6 p.m. January 15

Maintenance and custodial crews, in partnership with local contractors, worked throughout the day again today to continue clearing snow from Bend-La Pine Schools’ rooftops. The attached document shows progress to date. This document will be updated daily on our website's Alerts and Updates webpage at about 5 p.m. until work is complete.

“A huge thank you to the community for their outpouring of support for our teams today,” said Executive Director of Facilities Mike Tiller. “We had students come by with cards and posters, while families, businesses and churches came by with cakes, cookies, pizzas and more.”

“Work is progressing on rooftop snow removal,” said Tiller. “There is now concern mounting regarding the changing weather forecast. The region is expected to see warming temperatures and rain, which may result in flooding to our area in the next few days.”

“Due to the amount of snow that still remains on schools and the forecasted flooding, we are less optimistic that we will be able to resume classes for some, if not all, students on Tuesday,” said Superintendent Shay Mikalson.

“If the anticipated rain and dramatic warming do occur, we could see water coming through our windows and doors and under thresholds of our schools,” he added. “In addition to the 150 workers already clearing the roofs, we have mobilized seven excavation crews tomorrow to start prepping for the next wave of weather challenges.”

Tiller said that engineers have completed evaluations of all 37 school and work sites for structural stability. He said that engineers deemed 34 sites structurally sound and found one site, R.E. Jewell Elementary, to have structural damage. Repairs to this school began today.

Additionally, results of the district-wide engineering evaluation found possible areas of concern at Bear Creek Elementary and at Westside Village Magnet at Kingston School. Engineers are scheduled to return to these schools to complete additional assessments tomorrow.

“We have been in close communication with our partners at the city and county, who are urging homeowners, business owners and schools to direct melting snow away from structures and clear storm drains and swales,” Tiller added.

Tiller said that volunteers are welcome to pitch in on Tuesday as teams fill sandbags that will be used around school sites. (To volunteer, contact Anne Birky at 541-355-4700.)

For more information from our community partners about how to prepare homes for the anticipated snow melt and for flood prevention tips, visit Flash Alert.

NOTE: Bend-La Pine Schools will continue to share updates each night around 5 p.m.