Forty NC schools damaged by Hurricane Irene
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RALEIGH — State school officials say at least 40 schools in 19 districts were damaged by Hurricane Irene.
The State Board of Education received an update from on which school districts are coping with in the wake of Hurricane Irene. School Support Division Director Benjamin Matthews said the damages include flooding and roof damage.
There are still six counties Matthews' office has not been able to make contact with due to power and cell phone outages. Matthews said those outages spoiled a large amount of food. Schools were stocked up on food for the start of the school year and fridges and warehouses were full.
State Superintendent June Atkinson said the storm hitting so close to the beginning of the school year makes it particularly devastating.
"It certainly presents extra challenges for schools that have not had the opportunity to get the buses rolling the first or second day of school," said Atkinson. "It means for many of these schools, they are starting over even though they may have been in school for a few days."
School officials are meeting with insurance teams and communicating with FEMA about getting aid. However, they say there is some fear that some of the affected districts do not have flood insurance.