Wet Dirt Roads Cause Trouble for Bus Drivers

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WEST BAY - Bay County school bus drivers are also having trouble traveling on dirt roads. The majority of those roads are in the northern part of the county.

Nancy Kinman and her family live on Burns Street in West Bay. It was one of many dirt roads hit hard by Wednesday's severe weather.

"It's bad. My kids can't play outside or nothing," said Kinman.

Kinman relies heavily on the school district's transportation system, but she kept her 7 year old daughter home Thursday because the school bus couldn't make it down her dirt road.

"I don't want her to get to school and then 'oh, you have to come get your kid, we can't get her out there.' if you can't get to me and my kid, how am I supposed to get to you?," said Kinman.

School district officials say this week's severe weather has made dirt roads a safety concern for buses. About 10% of bus riders live on dirt roads.

Transportation Director Bob Downin doesn't expect the roads to dry up soon.

"If it continues to rain, it will probably go into next week because those roads are not going to dry up that fast. We know there are several dirt roads that are washed out where there's no road there anymore," said Downin.

As long as the roads are wet, the only way Kinman's daughter can ride the bus is if Kinman drops her off at Highway 79.

"I don't want to have to get up and get in my car and get my kid out to to the highway knowing that a car could come by and not seeing them because of the rain or the bus and hit my kid," said Kinman.

School district officials say they'll continue to give excused absences to kids who can't get to school safely, but parents or guardians must call the school first.

You can also call the transportation office at 767-4495.