Schools in Kingsport, Sullivan damaged in storm

Rick Wagner • Jul 24, 2013 at 11:18 PM

KINGSPORT — Water damaged some area schools in Kingsport and the western end of Sullivan County last week, while lightning damaged schools in several parts of the county.

Saint Dominic Catholic School on Center Street had extensive water damage that required the removal of carpet from the building.

Trinity Restoration of Kingsport used 100 fans and 24 dehumidifiers to dry out the school. Contractors were working Wednesday, a week after floodwaters hit parts of Kingsport and Bloomingdale, to remove old tile loosened by the removal of carpet. That will allow for the installation of new carpet.

“We’re going to have everything in place and have everything ready to go” when school starts, Saint Dominic Catholic Church Father Michael Nolan said Wednesday afternoon. He said teachers will report to school next week for in-service and the first student day will remain Aug. 5.

Insurance will cover the damage, which Nolan said in a way was a “blessing in disguise” for the school.

“We’re very pleased with the way it was handled,” Nolan said.

In Sullivan County public schools, maintenance supervisor Joe Davenport said damage from the rain caused an interior gutter system at Sullivan North High/Middle School to fail, making water overflow and causing the saturation and falling of about 150 ceiling tiles, a cost of about $5,000. At Ketron Elementary, also in Bloomingdale, Davenport said water entered the building through doors and flowed through the building. He said the water reached about two inches in depth. Cleanup costs at both schools for labor were about $5,000 to $6,000, he said. Running water moved a bridge over a small stream at Innovation Academy of Northeast Tennessee, and for a time high waters blocked IA Principal Sandy Watkins from leaving.

In the Sullivan South zone, Sullivan K-8’s elementary school building had damage from lightning to the circuit boards of the fire alarm, which should cost $1,000 or less.

In the other end of the county, Sullivan East High School’s fire alarm and intercom systems were struck by lightning and disabled, with the estimated circuit board costs for repair about $6,000. Blountville Middle School also was hit with lightning with no cost estimate for repair yet.

The county is self-insured up to a set amount of damage, and Davenport said officials are still figuring out the total cost of the storm damage.

In Kingsport City Schools, spokesman Andy True said David Carper, KCS director of facilities, reported some roof leaks at all schools. Most schools in the region have flat roofs that can lead to leaks or overflows in heavy rain.

“Some flooding occurred in the Dobyns-Bennett field house, two wellness rooms, in the swimming area, and the cafeteria roof had some leakage,” Carper said in an email to True the day after the flooding. “Palmer had some flooding in the front area. Jefferson (Elementary), Robinson (Middle) and Sevier (Middle) had flooding, as well. All schools had some roof leaks of some level.”

In addition, Carper reported that tree limbs were downed at Johnson Elementary, the Palmer Center and D-B.

“The efforts of the custodians and custodian supervisor working in the rain last night and this morning has everything in good shape,” Carper wrote. “No major losses. Landscaping took a beating, but we are working on it.”

True said no insurance claims will result from the July 17 water issues.

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