Frozen pipes and flooding forced Marshall Co. Schools to cancel Thursday

DOUGLAS, Ala. -- Marshall County Schools were supposed to open Thursday on a delay after days of icy condition cancellations, but cold weather issues at several campuses forced school leaders to close another day.

Instead of the sound of kids Thursday morning the sound of staff filled Robert D. Sloman Primary in Douglas as they cleaned the flooding left behind from a burst pipe. "Our crews are just working as hard as they can in an effort to have school tomorrow," Superintendent Cindy Wigley said.

Several classrooms, a hallway, and bathrooms flooded. The water took a toll on the ceiling, leaving gaping holes and soggy tiles behind.

This is the worst case scenario, though. Wigley says two other campuses had frozen pipes. "Asbury Elementary has one building and then the Brindlee Mountain High School lunchroom does not have water, so when we don't have water, we're not able to have school."

The issues happened despite the staff's best efforts to prevent them.

The system was set to open on a delay Thursday. One of the tasks staff takes care of during a delay is check the buildings on each campus to make sure there aren't any issues. If there are, the staff has time to take care of them before students arrive or they can make a change in plans. "You know, we would have had to turn buses around and send students home," Wigley said of Sloman's issues.

"After several days of frigid cold weather, you're going to have issues and just hope that you have time to clean it up if you have a three-hour delay."

They're using school staff to minimize the cost of the cleanup. The goal is to have school on Friday, but it all depends on how quickly things can be cleaned up, repaired, and thawed out.

The same flooding issue happened last year at Sloman, and crews made changes to prevent it. Wigley says they'll look at what else they can do to fix the issue once and for all.