BY MICHAEL J. RUDOLF
Elk Lake School District will conduct a massive evacuation drill on Friday.
According to Superintendent William Bush, the drill involves getting all students out of the building and off school property. They will be taken by bus to Montrose Area High School.
“The crux of the drill is a complete off-site evacuation,” Bush said.
“All of our students, faculty and staff have been assigned to buses,” he added.
Bush said the evacuation is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m.
Once the buses are loaded, they will head to the Montrose school, where everyone will be gathered in the gym. Attendance will be taken, Bush said, and then everyone will return to Elk Lake.
Bush expects the drill to be over between 10:30 and 11 a.m.
The drill is being coordinated with the Susquehanna County Emergency Management Agency, along with Elk Lake, Springville and Montrose fire companies.
State police have also been notified in case there are traffic problems, Bush said.
As buses are leaving the school, Bush said the road in front of the school (SR 3019) will be temporarily closed from the school’s gas pumps to the intersection with Tyler Hill Road.
All residents living on that stretch of road have been notified, Bush said.
In addition, he said Cabot Oil & Gas Company was also informed so that it can schedule its trucks accordingly.
Bush emphasized that Cabot was not part of the planning process for the drill, even though the company has a well on school property.
“It has nothing to do with the gas well,” he said.
Bush explained that school officials have been reviewing the district’s emergency plans, and found that a comprehensive evacuation plan was lacking.
“Should the event take place that we need to get everyone out, we’ll have a plan in place,” Bush said.