CLEVELAND, Texas – About 60 students at Cleveland Independent School District's Southside Primary School stayed at school overnight because of flooding in the area.
Storms left about 1,400 students stranded after classes ended at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Fourth grader Nathaniel Gonzalez was one of the 60 children who had to stay at the school overnight and he described the whole experience as “nice.”
Parents gradually picked their children up throughout the night and morning because they had also been stranded due to the floods.
“I was flooded inside my colony,” said Damaris Chavez.
Maria Alvarado’s five children spent the night at the school.
“I have a low car so I (couldn’t) go through,” Alvarado said. “(I) couldn’t sleep well (but) they’re safe. They were safe last night.”
Julio Martinez said he couldn’t get to his brothers because of the high water.
“We couldn’t get out from any street,” Martinez said. “There (were) cars stuck in the ditches. It was bad.”
Teachers and administrators made the best of the situation and cooked meals for the children, played games with them and watched movies.
“We had pizza. We had chicken nuggets. They had desserts. They had French fries,” said Principal Janie Snyder.
Snyder said she is proud of how the community came together when it really mattered.
“It’s emotional,” Snyder said, choking back tears. “They’re great. This community is great. Our kids and our families, they’re just amazing. It’s a blessing to be a part of it.”
Superintendent Chris Trotter said, “The teachers played games. They (danced). They had fun. They had an extended school day and it was a great time for all of our staff members and students."
Students slept on cots, donated by the Red Cross, in a dark gymnasium.
“We’re going to be calling parents to see if they want to pick up their students or if we need to carry them home. Also, we’re going to provide transportation to all students, get them reunited with their families and we want to make sure they’re safe and sound throughout the week,” said Trotter.
A bus took about 10 to 15 children to their homes at 8 a.m. Wednesday after all the students ate breakfast.
Classes were canceled Wednesday.
It was unclear when the school will resume classes.