Snowstorm does little damage to city, county school facilities

Rick Wagner • Dec 14, 2018 at 6:00 PM

KINGSPORT — Despite a storm that dumped upwards of a foot of snow in some places in Kingsport and Sullivan County, officials of both school systems reported only minor damage to their facilities.

“I’m not aware of any snow-related damage, other than some trees here and there that took some of the brunt of wet snow,” Kingsport City Schools Assistant Superintendent of Administration Andy True said Wednesday of the 14-school system. “I’ve been with Bill (Shedden, supervisor of maintenance and custodial services) on multiple occasions in the past few days and he hasn’t mentioned any damage.”

On Thursday, True said he checked with Shedden again.

“Nothing major to report from here,” True said.

Likewise, Sullivan County Schools Supervisor of Facilities and Maintenance Charlie Hubbard reported no substantial damage across the system that includes 21 school buildings, along with other non-school facilities.

“So far, everything is good,” Hubbard said Wednesday. “When a little bit of a thaw occurs, we may have some minor leaks.”

He said areas around Emmett Elementary and Holston Valley Middle received as little as 4 inches of snow, while the Blountville area got about 10.

On Thursday, he again reported no damage, but he said a few expected leaks, most predating the snowfall, began with the thaw. Hubbard said he hoped the warmer temperatures would melt enough snow so that when the rain comes it won’t further stress roofs and canopies.

Hubbard said that the power was out at Sullivan Gardens K-8 for about 24 hours earlier this week but that American Electric Power restored service before any pipes burst. He said the electricity at most county schools is supplied by AEP or Bristol Tennessee Essential Services, although Miller Perry Elementary gets its power from BrightRidge, formerly the Johnson City Power Board.

In the Kingsport school system, all electricity is provided by AEP, doing business as Appalachian Power. KCS has 14 schools and some non-school facilities.

Sullivan County schools were closed for the fourth straight day Thursday but opened on a two-hour delay Friday. Kingsport schools were closed for three days but opened Thursday on a regular schedule. Many other school systems in the region remained closed Thursday and Friday.

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