Due to challenging circumstances associated with the storms, the Manchester Union Elementary School Board meeting will be moved to Tuesday, January 24, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. in the school library.
(SEE the Live Feed on the homepage for most recent updates regarding Manchester Elementary School storm issues and closures)
Manchester Elementary School has been closed through the recent series of storms due to flooding, road closures and extensive power outages.
Our school facilities have not been damaged other than a section of fence that blew over. Power was out at the school for days. but as of this writing it has been restored. However, heavy rainfall led to the Garcia River reaching flood level which repeatedly closed Highway 1 - the only thoroughfare between Manchester and communities to the south (Point Arena, Gualala, etc.). Most of the school staff resides on the far side of the floodplain which meant they could not even get to the school for several days, and it is very possible that the road will be closed during some of the storms on the way.
The earth is saturated throughout the area which has led to a great many trees falling, knocking down power lines that have been a huge challenge for the PG&E crews to rectify. Many of the trees that did not fall shed branches, large and small, during the worst of the wind which at times had gusts of 50+ knots.
Please: If the winds are high and you are anywhere near trees, stay inside. Branches have been thrown a great distance during the gusts and are very dangerous.
The storms are not over. More heavy rain and high winds are in the forecast, so as of this writing, it isn’t over yet. Highway 1 will likely close at least part of the time due to flooding. It would be surprising if new or repeat power outages didn’t occur during the following storms, but the PG&E crews are here and working hard so hopefully no one will be without power for too long. Unfortunately, many homes in the more remote areas will be without power for an unknown number of days.
Meanwhile people have been helping neighbors, stores and other business have been open through what I would call heroic efforts, community centers in Gualala and Point Arena as well as many businesses have opened their doors for people to get Wi-Fi access and charge devices at least part of the day. Grocery and other stores have managed to keep us supplied. We are working together to get through this.
To our friends and families in the community: We want to stress that we will open the school just as soon as possible.