Hurricane Students Finally Back in School

By  | 

Monday was the first day back to school for about 92,000 students in two Florida Panhandle counties hardest hit by Hurricane Ivan.

The students have missed nearly four weeks of classroom time.

Pensacola Beach Elementary is one of two Escambia County schools that have had to move. Repairs also have not yet been completed at Longleaf Elementary, so students from there are attending double sessions at another Pensacola school, Bellview Elementary.

The return has been particularly difficult in Bagdad, a small Santa Rosa County community about 10 miles northeast of Pensacola. That's where two second grade pupils lost their lives during the storm and its aftermath.

Utilities have not yet been restored to the barrier island communities and many homes were destroyed or severely damaged. Ivan's storm surge swept over the western end of Santa Rosa Island, a narrow spit of sand that extends about 50 miles from Pensacola to Destin.