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County schools to reopen today

COVINGTON - Although continued flooding and road closures forced schools in Newton County to close Wednesday, officials decided Wednesday afternoon that they would reopen today.

"After consulting with the Newton County Emergency Management officials, Newton County schools will reopen," said Sherri Viniard, director of public relations at the Newton County School System, late Wednesday afternoon.

Schools closed Wednesday because of concerns over hazardous road conditions, officials announced late Tuesday night.

"Based on information received from Emergency Management regarding the road closures due to flooding and bridge outages, in considering safety for students, parents and staff and lost instructional time due to rerouted bus traffic delaying arrival and lengthening departures, the decision was made to close schools for Wednesday," Viniard said.

No flood damage was reported to any Newton County schools, she said, although several roads were closed and bridges and roads were flooded near several of them, including Porterdale Elementary and Newton High schools on Brown Bridge Road and Fairview and Clements theme schools.

Although schools will reopen today, some buses and parents taking their students to schools may have to find alternate routes.

"Because several roads and bridges remain closed, bus routes will be adjusted accordingly," Viniard said. "Parents should have their children at the bus stop on time in the morning, but due to the combination of rerouting buses and the heavy traffic on alternative roadways, expect possible delays in both morning pickup and afternoon delivery of students."

Viniard said no decision had been made regarding a makeup day for students and most staff. The 12-month employees reported to work Tuesday.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.