Scattered Clouds 41° Good Evening
Scattered Clouds 41° Good Evening

Persistent outages, fuel shortages slowing school openings

In addition to clearing out furniture and classroom

In addition to clearing out furniture and classroom materials from all first floor rooms, the Bronxville School District placed sandbags around all "vulnerable entrances." (Oct. 29, 2012) Photo Credit: Caylena Cahill

Many Hudson Valley schools will reopen Monday after school officials toiled over the weekend to find clear routes to school and assure fuel for buses and power in schools.

"District personnel have worked tirelessly in collaboration with the city during this crisis to ready our buildings and services for Monday," said Yonkers Public Schools Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio in a statement.

Yonkers schools will reopen Monday.

Many school districts were shuttered for five days last week as schools lost power and roads blocked safe travel for buses to transport students. All of Rockland County was closed, as were two of the state's largest school districts, Yonkers and New York City.

Questions of power restoration still loomed Sunday, particularly over Rockland and Westchester counties.

Some Westchester County school districts were choosing to partially reopen, despite power outages at individual schools within the district. Students at Dobbs Ferry Middle and High School will return to class Monday, but the elementary school students will stay home as their building has no power.

Hastings-on-Hudson school officials were urging parents to check the district website Sunday evening as the power company was working Sunday afternoon to restore power to Hillside Elementary school.

In Rockland County, school officials were concerned about fuel supplies for buses transporting students. Pearl River and South Orangetown school districts will be open but will limit bus service to in-district students because of fuel shortages.

"Private bus companies have limited supplies," South Orangetown Superintendent Ken Mitchell said. "Some also have power issues and cannot draw from their tanks."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday at Camp Smith in Cortlandt Manor that he wasn't aware of fuel shortages affecting school transportation. He said that gas pressures were easing every day as power is restored and fuel distribution routes are reopened.

School officials were eager to return to a normal schedule to help students find a routine.

"Homes and cars have been damaged. Some children and adults have been traumatized by such loss as well as the experience of fear during the storm, as well as the psychological fears caused by the resource scarcity," Mitchell wrote in a statement to parents. "We are planning to support students and staff who may have been affected in a such a way."

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