Andrea forces graduations inside

Published 8:56 pm Friday, June 7, 2013

Tropical Storm Andrea was mostly a non-event for Suffolk on Friday, making some rain pond on roads and waving trees around but not accomplishing much else — besides forcing Saturday’s graduation ceremonies inside.

Other parts of the state had seen quite a few reports of flash flooding, meteorologist James Foster with the National Weather Service office in Wakefield said.

The water had receded somewhat by the time this photo was taken, but caution signs on several roads warned of high water after Tropical Storm Andrea brought rain Friday.

The water had receded somewhat by the time this photo was taken, but caution signs on several roads warned of high water after Tropical Storm Andrea brought rain Friday.

However, only a few roads in Suffolk had high water briefly late Friday morning. The sun even shone through large gaps in the storm clouds several times during the day.

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At other times, rain was pouring in bands throughout the city. Foster said Suffolk received about 1.5 inches of rain through late afternoon, but the heaviest rain was reserved for the evening hours.

Perhaps the storm’s biggest effect is one that’s still sticking around Saturday — hundreds of high school seniors will have to graduate inside the gymnasiums at their schools rather than in the football stadiums.

Suffolk Public Schools made the announcement Friday morning that the graduations would be moved inside because the rain was preventing setup activities in the stadiums and because the rain was deteriorating conditions on the field and on grass parking areas.

Each senior received four tickets for the gymnasiums and two tickets for the auditoriums, where ceremonies will be live-streamed. Folks staying at home can watch the graduations live online at graduation.spsk12.net. The live stream requires high-speed Internet and Windows Media Player.

King’s Fork High School graduates at 9 a.m., Nansemond River at 11:30 a.m. and Lakeland at 2 p.m. Doors close 10 minutes before each ceremony begins, so early arrival is strongly recommended. Doors open an hour and 15 minutes before the beginning of each ceremony, except at Nansemond River, where they open a full hour and a half ahead of time.