Vandals damaged thirty-five New Hanover County school buses over the weekend.
The sabotage meant that some middle school students were left waiting until after 9 AM Monday for their ride to school.
The vandalism happened in the Laney Bus Garage:
“At first, we thought there were 20 buses vandalized, but as the morning went on and we continued the assessment, we found out that there’s a total of 35 buses that were vandalized. And, mostly, the acceleration cables were cut.”
New Hanover County Schools Spokesperson Valita Quattlebaum says that some – not all – the routes suffered delays.
But after rearranging bus schedules, doubling up on routes, and rolling out spare buses, school officials were able to pick up all the waiting students. Most routes should now be back to normal, says Quattlebaum. But those families that could be affected will be notified by phone.
“What we’ve done is worked really hard to try to find out which routes, and so we’re working throughout the day to notify the schools that will be specifically impacted so that those parents can get a call.”
Damage estimates range between 14 and 18-thousand dollars. A law enforcement investigation is currently underway; however, there is not yet any information available regarding suspects. But Quattlebaum says while the school system is working closely with authorities, they welcome help from the public.
“I think this a community issue. And so if anyone has any information about this or they saw anything, they can work with us and let law enforcement know, that would be a great help.”
The buses / routes that will be delayed the morning of Tuesday, November 26, 2013:
Pine Valley: Rt. 244, Bus 422 will be doubled and be about 15 minutes late.
Myrtle Grove: Rt. 288, Bus 371 will be about 15 minutes late and come in on Bus 325 (2nd trip)
Myrtle Grove: Rt. 295 , Bus 422 will be about 15 minutes late
Myrtle Grove: Rt. 291, Bus 299 will be about 15 minutes late and come in on Bus 318 (2nd trip)
Murray/Ashley: Rt. 270, Bus 289 will be about 15 minutes late and come in on Bus 330 (2nd trip)
Freeman: Rt. 15 (Brown Bus) will be approximately 20 minutes early.
Snipes: Rt. 15 (Orange Bus) will approximately 20 minutes early.
Snipes: Rt. 28 (Yellow Bus) will approximately 10 minutes late.
Noble: Rt. 150 will be approximately 15 minutes late.