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Local schools preparing for heavy rain from Hurricane Irma

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THOMASVILLE, N.C. – Almost 30 sandbags are up for their biggest challenge at Thomasville City Schools Elementary School.

Each one will have to hold strong if Hurricane Irma brings heavy rain to the area, but being in place for what could come is most important.

"Took the last couple of days to kind of access where our needs are," Thomasville City Schools Chief Operations Officer Dr. Gate Gentry explained.

She's all too familiar when it comes to hurricanes.

"Hugo hit me when I was a senior in South Carolina," Gentry said.

How she prepared then wasn't forgotten.

"Some of that came back as we started looking at this," Gentry pointed out.

She mentioned two main areas of concern at Liberty Drive Elementary School.

The first is flooding near the cafeteria.

Gentry said this is a low-lying area which floods anytime there's heavy rain.

The second issue is the drainage system.

She explained the school custodian has cleared all three drains of any debris to help the flow of water.

Every school in the city faces a threat from the high winds of storm.

"So some of the other things that we'll be doing is making sure our technology gets secured so for instance in this lab, we'll make sure computers get moved away from the windows, we'll be covering things with tarps," Gentry mentioned.

Gentry's experience with Hurricane Hugo puts her a step ahead of any serious weather.

"Looking at some of the buildings and stuff we've dealt with in the past that we can prep and kind of prevent any further damage or things of that nature," Gentry said.