Heavy rains flood Clermont Elementary

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CLERMONT, Fla. - Maintenance workers spent Wednesday cleaning up Clermont Elementary School after heavy rains caused flood damage inside.

When Tuesday's storm hit, it quickly filled the school's small retention pond. The water was too much for the city's storm drains to swallow, and it backed up all over the campus, officials said.

Crews were able to clean enough to keep classes from being canceled, but the flooding did leave behind a path of damage.

Students who were supposed to meet in the flooded classrooms were instead moved into some of the vacant portable classrooms on campus.

"It was about 4 inches in less than an hour," said school spokesman Chris Patton.

The flooding happened about 9 p.m., but the water had been cleared out by noon Wednesday, leaving sand, dirt and mulch everywhere.

"It looks terrible," said student Joustian Rodriguez.

In all, seven classrooms were flooded. Inside, textbooks, carpets and computers were damaged.

"It was one of the worst events, actually, worse than what we saw in 2004, according to some people," said Patton.

Administrators said a bigger retention pond and a newer storm drain system would have helped but might not have prevented the problem.