Harrison School District 2 loses nearly half of bus fleet due to wind damage

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Nearly 1,000 students could have been without a ride to school Tuesday morning in Harrison School District 2.

That’s because nearly half of their school bus fleet sustained significant damage after Monday’s windstorm.

“It was very difficult,” said David Hartzel Jr., the Director of Transportation for School District 2. “It broke our hearts, it was disappointing.”

Of the district’s 50 school buses, 22 are now inoperable after significant wind damage left behind shattered windows.

“I would call catastrophic damage meaning that the entire side of a bus,” said Hartzel. “The side windows were completely wiped out by the winds and the dust blowing through our area.”

In addition to the windows – roof hatches, windshields and stop arms also took a hit leaving the district to figure out how to route kids to school safely.

“You know we’ve dealt with blizzard and snow and hail and I guess on top of what happened yesterday, it kind of struck a chord with the hearts of a lot of our people,” said Hartzel.

School District 11 lent 6 of their own buses to assist in getting kids to school this morning.

In the meantime, District 2 is using some of their retired bus parts to begin the repair process.

“So we took parts off of those buses we’re going to retire to augment what we had on hand for parts and what we were able to make do with what we had,” said Hartzel.

The district says it could take up to a month for repairs but most of that cleanup work is going to come picking up the glass and debris all due to those wind gusts.

“I don’t know the total numbers but it’s probably upwards in the hundreds of windows right now,” said Hartzel.

The school district says that despite being down buses, the transition should be relatively seamless for overall operations and for kids who ride the bus.



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