Enterprise School Buses

By: Erika Kurre
By: Erika Kurre

Less than two weeks after the tornado hit, Enterprise students are headed back to school on the same busses that weathered the storm.

However, before they do, school officials want to assure you their ride will be a safe one.

Fourteen Enterprise city school buses were damaged in the March 1st tornado. Six were completely totaled.

And, for those that are repairable, getting them back in running order has been an around-the-clock process.

ECS Transportation Supervisor Ron White said, "The glass is shared throughout the bus interior. Some of it is in the seats, some of it is in the defroster, and some of it's stuck in the ceiling. So we have to clean all that out and possibly even change seat covers."

Cleaning debris is only half of the concern. They're also working to replace anything that's been broken, including windows and doors.

For the past week, they've had manufacturers’ rush-ship replacements from across the count, as far as North Carolina and Oklahoma to meet the March 14th deadline.

"The state inspectors of school busses have worked with us in order to make sure those buses are safe,” White says. “They're the ones who helped us determine whether the buses could be repaired or not, whether they're going to be safe to haul children."

And, now that the busses are once again safe to ride, drivers are anxious to get back on the roads.

They also want to assure parents that the students will be taken care of.

ECS Bus Driver Sherry Bryant said, "I've been on all the routes before. The kids are gonna’ come and they're going to be a little apprehensive. But hey, I'm positive it's gonna’ be good."

"If somebody misses a bus or something and we see them standing there, we're gonna’ get em and take em home, even if they're not on our bus,” Pace Reynolds, another ECS bus driver said. “So that's not a problem."

School transportation officials say it will probably take about two weeks for students and drivers to get used to the revised system.

The six busses that were totaled will have to be replaced.

In the meantime, the Enterprise City School System is using their spare buses, as well as borrowing a few from surrounding county schools.

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