About a thousand New Jersey students will be forced to start the year learning remotely after the remnants of Hurricane Ida severely damaged their school.
The Cresskill Middle/High School will likely remain closed until 2022 after it was decimated by the storm, according to NJ Advance Media.
The school, which sits on swampland, was caked in mud and hardly recognizable after being mostly underwater Wednesday night, Superintendent Michael Burke told the outlet.
“We went through Hurricane Sandy and there were kids actually canoeing in the parking lot, but never did it enter the building,” Burke reportedly said. “That had never happened.”
The historic onslaught of rain in Bergen County left most of the school with 3-foot high water lines, according to the article. The janitor was reportedly forced to spend the night in the gym, the only part of the school that was not flooded.
“I knew this was something like we’ve never seen,” Burke reportedly said.
“Within 30 seconds to a minute I knew we had to start remote.”
The storm left the school filled with mold, damaged HVAC equipment and destroyed its boiler room, according to the article.
The district was reportedly granted permission from Trenton to hold virtual classes next week, and officials hope to transition to partial in-person learning off campus by November.
“There is little chance that this building is even close to being ready until 2022, at the earliest,” Burke reportedly said.