Schools in New York City and neighboring districts are closed for the rest of the week as city officials work to get things back to normal after Hurricane Sandy swept through and ravaged the region.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's announcement Wednesday that classes would remain canceled citywide was met with mixed response. But some 200 of the city's 1,400 schools had experienced damage from the storm, rendering them "not operational," Department of Education spokesperson Erin Hughes told GothamSchools. Of those, 86 are without power. The city has also been using 76 school buildings as evacuation shelters since the beginning of the week.
"Hopefully by Monday everything will be back to perfect," Bloomberg said Wednesday.
Damage to some schools in New Jersey is so severe that some may no longer be usable, according to state School Board Association officials.
"There is a strong possibility that [some schools] will be unusable as educational facilities for quite some time," Association President John Bulina wrote in a letter Thursday, according to The Star-Ledger. "Classroom supplies and equipment may have also been destroyed."
Geoff Decker of GothamSchools went to survey the damage to New York City schools -- and the situation looks grim. Check out their photos below, and click over to GothamSchools for more coverage on the city's schools.
The auditorium at P.S. 195 in Manhattan Beach remained flooded on Wednesday afternoon. At its highest level, the water was above the stage, said Pat Kennedy, the school's custodial engineer. Kennedy said he could not pump water until he received a generator, most of which were in short supply in southern Brooklyn.
"Catastrophic. Pure devastation," said Joe Modica, a custodian at Gravesend's William Grady Career and Technical High School. The school's boiler room and media center, both located in the school's basement were flooded with about seven feet of water yesterday.
Modica and about a dozen others — custodians, plumbers and electricians — were working in shifts to pump water from the school today.
P.S. 253 in Gravesend, about three blocks from the ocean. Con Edison trucks were parked outside many flooded schools in southern Brooklyn, where electricians disconnected power until the schools could be fully pumped.
The basement at P.S. 15 in Red Hook was also flooded with between five and seven feet of water, staff said.