ELKTON, Md. — The waters of the creek have receded now, but at their peak during the storm, they formed a river covering parking lots in Elkton like the one Justin Davis uses as a base for his school buses, and now most of them are swamped.
“We could see that the water was halfway up to the grills covering electrical systems and it was pretty hard to watch them all,” said Davis. “Lights were flashing. Horns were blowing. It’s almost like they were screaming for help, and we couldn’t do anything.”
Eight of 15 buses lost and the replacement cost for each runs in excess of $100,000.
At a time when school buses and drivers are hard to come by, the school system is doing what it can to help Davis keep his business running.
“We’re trying to help him out getting some of his spare buses approved to run today on an emergency basis, and we were able to get that done,” said CCPS Transportation Director Gregg Tulowitzky, “and we’re going to do everything we can to support him in his operation, as he supports us and the students of Cecil County Public Schools.”
More than a business, the flooded buses represent over half of Davis’s fleet, which he has painstakingly grown to achieve a dream he’s had since he was a boy to transport children to school.
Even his competitors are now coming to his aid to keep that dream alive.
“I have the best people in the world out here helping me out,” said Davis, fighting back tears, “My fellow school bus contractors have brought in their spare buses and we got the kids to school.”
A family member has also started up a GoFundMe account to help the young contractor weather the storm.