SKOWHEGAN — Schools in Maine School Administrative District 54 reopened Thursday, after flooding Tuesday damaged the district’s buses and vans.

The lack of transportation forced schools in the Skowhegan-area district to stay closed for a second day on Wednesday following Monday’s powerful storm, according to SAD 54 superintendent Jon Moody.

Superintendent Jon Moody of Maine School Administrative District 54, based in Skowhegan. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel file

Some bus routes were delayed Thursday morning, but all were running on time Thursday afternoon, according to communications posted on the district’s website. Just over 70% of students attended class, Moody said.

Nine busses and 13 vans parked in a lot off Canaan Road, rented from the Department of Transportation, were damaged by the flooding of the Kennebec River, Moody said.

District staff didn’t move the vehicles because they were not warned of the severity of the flooding ahead of time, Moody said.

“I just found out today that the town was notified at midnight on Tuesday,” Moody said Thursday. “We didn’t receive that word until mid-day (Tuesday) when things were already essentially impassable.”


Maintenance staff worked throughout the day Wednesday to repair the vehicles, and got most of them running, Moody said. But by Thursday morning, that was no longer the case.

“With the temperatures getting as low as they did last night, some of those busses we had running (Wednesday) were impacted,” Moody said. “So, we were in a crunch situation late in the morning.”

Staff are still assessing the damage, Moody said. Other districts, including SAD 59 in Madison, offered to help transport students with their vans and busses.

A roof of a modular building at Bloomfield Elementary School, next to the district’s high school, was ripped off by strong winds on Monday, Moody said. “It probably flew a good 75 yards and then it landed on a car and broke apart,” Moody said.

Otherwise, no other school buildings suffered notable damage.

Students’ absences were excused Thursday, as many families are still without power, Moody said. Given that policy, he was surprised at how many came to class Thursday.

“Kids have just been happy,” the superintendent said.

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