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Chualar parents concerned over emergency communication after floods

Chualar parents concerned over emergency communication after floods
KION 2019
Chualar parents concerned over emergency communication after floods

CHUALAR, Calif. (KION) The Central Coast is bracing another big storm to strike this weekend after intense flooding hit south Monterey County on Wednesday, closing down Highway 101 south of Salinas.

Parents in Chualar are prepping for the next round with lingering frustration over what happened on Wednesday, telling KION the school district did not communicate issues the flooding was having on their kids.

But Chualar Union School District Superintendent Roberto Rios says his staff worked tirelessly to contact every single parent during Wednesday's flood.

"I've been there for 20 years at the school district and I haven't seen anything like that before," said Rios.

Water came from the fields, flooding the school's basketball court and track. Students at Chualar Union School had to retreat to the gym until parents picked them up. But many families are saying they got little to no communciation from the school district about what was happening.

"We were very worried. We didn't know if the kids were OK because there's wasn't any communication at all," said one Chualar parent who wanted to remain anonymous.

"We were trying to reach out to the school, the school never answered the call either. So we were out of the blue, not knowing anything," said another parent.

These parents say they had to rely on word of mouth to figure out the situation and some helpful friends to get their kids home. But the Monterey County Office of Education says several alerts were sent to parents about the flooding and subsequent power outage at the school, saying kids can be picked up.

"We're very proud of our teachers. They also helped out in every facet that they could by putting messages to our parents through their applications, their apps," said Rios.

The school district tells KION they are working with the county office of emergency services and the Red Cross to prepare for the storm this weekend. Parents are just hoping there are plans in place.

Currently, parents are waiting to get word if power gets restored at the school. If so, classes will resume on Friday.

Josh Kristianto

Josh Kristianto is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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