10 students, driver rescued from school bus as flooding creates havoc in Frederick County

Ten students and the driver were rescued from a Frederick school bus after it became mired in flooding on Wednesday.

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The bus was carrying students from Catoctin High School and Thurmont Middle School when it became overwhelmed with water in the area of Hessong Bridge Road and Blacks Mill Road.

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The Frederick County sheriff’s office warns that the water is rising, creating dangerous conditions.

Todd Wivell said Frederick County Sheriff’s Office decided to turn all the school buses around and take the students back to their schools. They are asking parents to work with the schools to pick their kids up. Deputies will be assisting with traffic control.

Frederick County fire and rescue officials say 83 roads have been closed by flooding.

Shortly before 5:30 p.m., officials said they had received 17 calls for water rescues, and 39 for flooding condition service.

FOX 5's Lindsay Watts arrived in Frederick County late Wednesday afternoon and encountered another vehicle that had become caught in the flooding.

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The greater D.C. region was pummeled with severe weather on Wednesday – including multiple tornadoes, and flooding.

The Superintendent for Frederick County Public Schools released a statement Wednesday evening, saying all of the students who were brought back to the school were picked up by parents and are safe. 

Frederick County Public Schools will be operating on a two-hour delay for Thursday, Sept. 2. 

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You can read the full statement from the Superintendent below: 

To the FCPS Community:

I hope my message to you this evening finds you and your loved ones well and safe. I wanted to update the community regarding this afternoon’s dismissal from schools. 

As we mentioned in a message to our community yesterday, we were aware that the remnants of Hurricane Ida would bring rain to our community over an extended period of time. Throughout the morning and early afternoon, we closely monitored weather and road conditions throughout the county, just as we would with any other inclement weather situation. We also closely monitored the forecast.

Initial school dismissals proceeded normally until drivers were met with unexpectedly hazardous road conditions. As middle and some elementary school buses were beginning their routes, very heavy rain overtook our entire county. The sudden hazardous road conditions led to many challenges.

The Frederick County Sheriff's Department informed us that buses needed to be removed from the roads, leading many elementary school buses to return back to schools where our school administrators ensured that students were able to safely unite with families. One bus encountered high water in the Thurmont area, leading to a response by fire and rescue crews. All students and one driver on this bus were safely evacuated and united with their families. 

Our decision to remain open for a full day led to last-minute changes for families, along with stress and anxiety for many. For that, I am deeply sorry. My first priority is to keep students and staff safe. I am grateful that everyone was able to get safely to their homes. 

I want to thank the many staff members who stayed at school working diligently to ensure our students were cared for while waiting for their families. I also want to thank our bus drivers and bus assistants who demonstrated what incredible professionals they are.  Finally, I am grateful to our law enforcement and first responders who supported us during the flash flooding this afternoon.