NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Schools says some bus runs will be doubled up to get kids home from school after 35 school buses were vandalized over the weekend, according to a news release from the school system.
NHCS Public Information Officer Valita Quattlebaum says the latest buses dropped middle school students off at school around 9:15 a.m. after someone cut the accelerator cables to several of the buses parked at the Laney Bus Garage.
Ken Nance, the director of transportation for the school system, says the buses that were vandalized normally run routes to several middle and high schools in the northern part of the county.
According to the release, certain bus routes could run later than normal tomorrow morning. Quattlebaum says parents with children on impacted routes will be notified via a Connect5 phone call, letting them know which routes will be delayed.
She says schools will also be notified today if students at their particular schools are on those delayed bus routes as they continue investigating and repairing the buses vandalized.
Nance says the estimated damages total to between $14,000 and $18,000, including labor costs. The school system says if all parts needed for repairs are delivered on time, all buses are expected to be completely back to regular schedules by next Monday.
Quattlebaum says spare buses are are also being tested for safety and added to the fleet in an effort to minimize delays. She says an investigation is underway, but there is no information yet on suspects involved in the vandalism.
The school district says the following routes can expect delays tomorrow:
Rt. 244, Bus 422 will be doubled and be about 15 minutes late.
Rt. 288, Bus 371 will be about 15 minutes late and come in on Bus 325 (2nd Trip)
Rt. 295, Bus 422 will be about 15 minutes late
Rt. 291, Bus 299 will be about 15 minutes late and come in on Bus 318 (2nd Trip)
Rt. 270, Bus 289 will be about 15 minutes late and come in on Bus 330 (2nd trip)