Orange County

Riverdale Elementary floods after Hurricane Ian passes through Orange County

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County leaders are concerned that one school may not be able to reopen come Monday.


Riverdale Elementary, located in Orlando, was surrounded by water Friday morning in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

Crews worked all day Friday to help get schools ready to reopen next week, but Riverdale might take a little longer than others.

Scott Howat, chief communications officer of Orange County Public Schools, said the county saw major flooding issues at the school.

Read: Hurricane Ian floods homes, businesses and streets in Osceola County

Water was outside of the front door and all around the campus, but by 5 p.m., the water receded, which is good news for the school. The water level has since decreased about 10 inches since Friday morning.

But it may be a while before operations are back to normal with students in the classrooms.

The district said it had some solutions, such as alternative sites for instruction or utilizing virtual learning platforms.

Read: 2 Orlando lakes flood into each other due to heavy rain from Hurricane Ian

“We have not received any direction from the state as far as the virtual option but we will certainly look at that as a possibility,” Howat said.

The district said it hopes to have schools back in session district-wide on Monday.

“Our priority is to ensure our students and staff return to a safe learning environment as soon as possible,” Howat said.

OCPS parents also want classes to resume on Monday.

“Home, spending time, but at the same time, we want him to go back to school,  parent Faust Castillo said. “It’s been stressful dealing with work, the kids and preparing for the hurricane.”

Some Orange County schools have been serving as shelters for people in need throughout the storm.

Read: Hurricane Ian: 9 surreal photos & videos in Florida

Mayor Jerry Demings said the shelters will be moved when school is back in session.

“We will work with other social service providers to make sure persons who may need shelters will work with our community-based organizations to relocate,” Demings said.

Orange County Public Schools released an update Friday evening that said 44 schools are without power and it is going to try to get it restored by Monday and get the buildings back up and running.

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