MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties opened for the first time in more than a week.
It was a welcome site as school buses rolled in, parents walked their little ones, kids with their backpacks and bikes riding back to school.
Seven days after hurricane Irma forced school closures, students are heading back to school some with the support of their parents.
“It was tough but we survived. We’re Floridians. We made it. I’m happy,” said parent Olivia Navarette.
The districts say power has been restored to all schools.
Getting schools back up and running was a major priority for Dade and Broward superintendents who worked tirelessly to make it happen.
“They may not have had power, AC, proper food …this is the week to welcome back normalcy into their lives,” said Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie.
Runcie visited Pasadena Lakes Elementary in Pembroke Pines and welcomed staff and students back after a rough week for all.
“It’s a transition week. I spoke with the principals. They’re trying to get back to normal. Their expressing compassion and flexibility, said Runcie.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho started the day at Jackson Senior High School with encouraging words for returning students and staff.
Both Broward and Miami-Dade Public Schools will offer free breakfast and lunch to students through October.
In Miami-Dade, all tardies and absences will be excused.
Hurricane Irma, and the power outages that followed, shut down schools across Miami-Dade and Broward counties for more than a week.
While school is back for everyone Monday, unfortunately electricity is still not.
As of Monday, Florida Power & Light reports 46,610 in Miami-Dade and in Broward 11,760 have gone more than a week without power.
FPL’s original plan was to have power restored by Sunday but the company says some unforeseen issues have caused delays. The company has set up customer service walk-up stations in Pinecrest and Homestead, equipped with free wifi and charging stations.
FPL says the areas where crews are having the most access issues are Coral Gables and Pinecrest because of the heavy vegetation in those areas.