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Rockwood’s Eureka Quadrant Schools closing for flood

EUREKA, MO (KTVI) - In Eureka, people are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.

"We're trying to save the business and the whole and community" said Eureka resident Wayne Emmons.

Emmons was one of dozens of volunteers Sunday afternoon sandbagging homes and business ahead of the threat of major flooding around Eureka.

At Eureka High School, parts of the baseball field are already underwater. Volunteers also helped place sandbags around the school to stop any water from making its way in.

"We've tried a strategy to cut the water off from getting wrapped around the building and we've sealed all the doors on the backside" said Rockwood Schools District Superintendent Dr. Eric Knost.

River levels are expected to crest sometime Tuesday around 44.5 feet, which is well over 10 feet above flood stage.

"We're trying to get ahead of the game" said Scott Barthelmass with the Eureka Fire Protection District. "That way we can help these people be prepared for the water that's coming" he said.

It's been just 16 months since much of Eureka was underwater from the historic flood of 2015. With current crest levels nearing the same spot, people are hoping history doesn't repeat itself.

"We hope that all of our work was not really needed but we think we're in good shape" said Knost.

Late Sunday evening, Superintendent Knost out of an abundance of caution cancelled class for Monday, May 1 for the schools in the Eureka quadrant of the district. Those schools include Eureka High School, Individualized Learning Center, Lasalle Springs Middle, Blevins, Geggie and Eureka Elementary.

Check the full list of school closings here. All other schools in the Rockwood District will be open as scheduled.

Administrators sent this note to parents Sunday.  

Dear Rockwood School Community,

Throughout the day, we’ve been monitoring the flood warnings in our area. As the day has progressed, I’ve become more concerned with the information I’ve received from our emergency management officials regarding our Eureka school community.

We’ve been working with our Eureka Police Department and Eureka Fire Department officials and I have concerns about how soon the roads, highways, and our Eureka High School campus will become impassable. I would rather err on the side of safety. Police and fire officials are recommending we cancel classes in the Eureka area, Monday.

My greatest concern is for the safety of our students, staff and families. For this reason, I’m cancelling school on Monday, May 1 for those buildings in the Eureka quadrant: Eureka High, Individualized Learning Center, LaSalle Springs Middle, Blevins, Geggie and Eureka Elementary Schools. Please note that Adventure Club and all afterschool programs for these schools are also cancelled.

All other Rockwood schools will be open and ready to receive our students on Monday.

We understand Eureka High School students have A.P. testing Monday. Students will be notified about rescheduling.

Parents and staff members affected by this school cancellation received a phone message from me this evening so they can prepare for Monday. I will continue to communicate any new information about school closings we continue to respond to developments.

As you know, weather and its aftermath can be difficult to predict. However, I believe that safety is always our first responsibility. Again, thanks to everyone for their concerns throughout this flooding. We will continue to monitor rising waters to see if other areas of the district will be impacted later in the week.

I will continue to communicate any new information as it becomes available.

Sincerely, Eric
Dr. Eric Knost
Rockwood Superintendent