PONCA CITY, Okla. – A Ponca City public school flooded when it was hammered by rain over the weekend, just a couple weeks before kids return to school.
Ponca City High School, PC West Middle School, and PC East Middle School are all getting new roofs. When thunderstorms hit Friday and Saturday, the first two experienced bad leaks, but school officials said Ponca City East Middle looked like a war zone.
“Water was literally pouring down the ceilings,” said Ponca City Schools Executive Director of Operations Bret Smith. “It looked like it was raining inside just as hard as it was raining outside.”
He said a massive section of the school’s roof was left uncovered.
He said there was a two-inch river of water rushing down the stairwells, and swollen ceiling tiles littered the floor. Fourteen classrooms and the attached hallways were underwater.
Disastrously, the section affected included the computer labs. In all, about 150 laptops, several PCs, and smart boards were doused, and all will likely have to go.
“With the batteries they have nowadays, bad things can happen even after they dry out so they’re going to be replaced,” Smith said.
Two companies were immediately called in to help mitigate the damage. They worked to mop up water and set up dozens of fans and plastic air ducts to blow air into the building to dry it out quickly before mold has a chance to grow.
“We thought it was going to be at least next week,” Smith said. “Sometime before we were ready but they’ll be ready this weekend.”