'Totaled’: Charter school raises funds for teachers after floodwaters destroyed cars

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Officials said 143 students and staff members had to be evacuated from a charter school in University City last Thursday morning due to rising floodwaters.

The Charlotte Fire Department responded to Corvian Community School at about 10:30 a.m. on David Taylor Drive.

A student said water was up to the teachers' shoulders as they were trying to get in their cars. They also said a fence had to be cut to get the students out of the area and to the buses.

“I can’t tell you how frightening it was for the adults, but I can tell you for sure our students, they were on an adventure,” said Kristi Miller, director of Elementary Education.

The flood destroyed more than a dozen vehicles, which left teachers without transportation.

“It literally happened in about 10 minutes,” Miller said Monday. “From the moment I realized it was coming into the parking lot until there was literally a wave coming into the parking lot.”

Inside the school, the ankle-deep water damaged floors and drywall, but what the flood left in the parking lot was more devastating.

“We have about 14 cars that have been totaled already,” Miller said. “Several more of these cars are still waiting to be towed. We’re still waiting to hear from insurance for some folks. My car was totaled.”

Some teachers, who do not have gap insurance, will end up owing thousands more than their insurance will cover.

“God knows they’ve been through a lot with remote learning, COVID-19 and now this,” said Stephanie Cook, director of fundraising. “Can you imagine?”

The school launched a teacher assistance fund to help the teachers. Click here or here or here to help.

“You know they don’t make a lot of money,” Cook said. “If your heart is led to help, then by all means help.”

All proceeds from the following fundraising efforts will go toward helping the teachers get back on the road again.

Channel 9 also learned that Thursday was several students' first day back to in-person learning.

“Especially kids like mine who this is the first day they came at all. So this is his first kindergarten experience ever. So super emotional in general to drop my baby off. But then for all of this to happen has been a lot,” one parent said.

Officials said all students and faculty were safely evacuated from the school.

Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.