Volunteers Help North Idaho Elementary School

SPOKANE – Last week’s snowfall has left many roofs in north Idaho covered with more than a foot of snow, and one man is trying to make a difference by clearing one roof in particular.

For several days, the Elementary School in Athol, Idaho has been closed due to heavy snow and slick roads. On Monday, the kids will go back to school, but some neighbors are worried about the weight of the snow on the roof of the building.

“It’s all about the kids. They can’t protect themselves, were supposed to,” Volunteer Bill said.

Bill, who did not want his last name released, his wife, a neighbor, and a friend came in to try and clear off the snow from the school’s roof. They thought that they would be getting more help, but instead it was just them. 

“This school isn’t high on priorities as far as getting it done, but it’s in my backyard,” Bill said.

For the last two days, they’ve been on the roof of Athol Elementary School, spending nearly ten hours on Saturday and several more on Sunday clearing the snow. The volunteers are trying to prevent a possible collapse on the school’s roof.. 

“I’m not saying it’s going to, but why wait to that point?” Bill said.

There is about two feet of snow on top of the roof, and little by little, the crew is trying to make a difference.

However, the help given by these volunteers is not entirely welcome as they were encouraged to leave because the mayor and the school district say it’s not safe, and there are liability concerns.

Even with the warning, Bill had a hard time leaving. He had hoped to get other volunteers in town to help out.  No one showed.

“Kinda gotten tired. Haven’t got the help I hoped to have got. For four people to go up there and shovel by themselves, it’s a lot more than I expected,” Bill said.

Bill left on Sunday feeling disappointed that he could not complete the job. There was just too much snow for him and the other volunteers to handle, but Bill hopes that their efforts of safety will not go unnoticed.

“Quit letting, sitting on their hands,” Bill said. “People telling them they cant do something because of insurance.  What it comes down to is you can’t wait for somebody else to do something for you. You have to do it yourself.”