Recovering From the Flood of 2011: A School Takes a Step Forward

Connie McKinneyStarred Page By Connie McKinney, 16th Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/pmxcddqe/
Posted in Wikinut>News>Environment

Demolition began this week at a local school destroyed by the Flood of 2011. This is the first step toward rebuilding and recovering from the devastating flood.

Recovering From the Flood


An excavator began knocking down a flood-damaged school this week .The excavator struck the building repeatedly and scooped away the debris. The start of demolition marked a milestone in the school's ongoing recovery from the Flood of 2011.
MacArthur Elementary School in Binghamton, New York was one of the victims of the Flood of 2011. The city, located near the Pennsylvania border, sits at the confluence of two rivers: the Susquehanna and the Chenango Rivers. In September 2011, Tropical Storm Lee dumped 7 inches of rain on the area in a single day. That caused the rivers to rise 25 feet - more than 11 feet above flood stage.
Demolition started Tuesday and should take at least six weeks to complete. Construction on the new school should start by January.

The Flood Displaces a School


The flood hit on the first day of school. Rain poured down all day long. Schools closed early as buses rushed to get children home ahead of the rapidly rising waters.
Several schools were damaged but MacArthur Elementary School suffered some of the most severe damage. The school is located about a quarter mile from the Susquehanna River. Very little could be salvaged from the school. Floods left behind a soggy mess of ruined furniture, equipment, and library books.
School officials had to scramble to find a place for the students who attended MacArthur Elementary School. Janitors worked around the clock to prepare two closed Catholic Schools to house the children. Teachers who had lost everything in their classrooms had to start from scratch. Community members donated school supplies and money to help replenish everything lost in the flood.
Losing a school was traumatic for students, parents, teachers and staff members. Let's take a closer look at how difficult this was for everyone.

Demolition Starts


Recovering from a flood is a long, slow process. School officials had to meet with Federal Emergency Management Agency representatives. Insurance companies had to inspect the building. Voters had to approve rebuilding the school. The New York State Education Department had to review plans for demolition and rebuilding.
Finally, all the bureaucratic red tape was cleared. Demolition started Tuesday. Students, staff and teachers watched as the excavator took its first whack at the building. They, along with neighbors and passersby, then picked up a brick from the pile as a souvenir of the old school.
Many people stopped to watch the demolition. Members of the Binghamton High School Cross Country jogged past the site. They kept on running but many runners turned their heads to watch the demolition.
Cameras snapped pictures. Cell phones captured pictures and video, which then flashed onto Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.
Men in hard hats walked around the fenced-in site. One man stood atop a water truck and sprayed a continuous stream of water to keep the dust down. A dull roar could be heard as the excavator slammed into the building repeatedly and scooped away debris.
Here is what the scene looked and sounded like:

Looking Forward to a New School


With demolition underway, students, faculty and staff look forward to a new school being built on the same site. To guard against future flooding, the new school will be built closer to the road and farther away from the river. Classroom wings will be raised high above the flood plain.
If everything goes according to plan, the new school could reopen by 2015. Students could start the new school year inside a brand new school and not worry if it rains during the first day like it did two years ago.

I wrote a three-part series on the two-year anniversary of the flood.
Here is part one of the flood series
Here is part two:
Here is part three:

Attribution:
I took the photos myself.
Both videos came from You Tube. I shot the second video myself - my first one for Wikinut!

Tags

Flood, Flood Damage, Flood Damages, Flooding, Floods, School, Schools

Meet the author

author avatar Connie McKinney
I enjoy exercising, pets, and volunteering as well as writing about these topics and others.

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Comments

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
16th Oct 2013 (#)

lots of light to this project Connie and always to you...

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author avatar Connie McKinney
16th Oct 2013 (#)

Thanks, Carolina. It's a big step toward flood recovery.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
17th Oct 2013 (#)

Let the walls raise quickly so the students can get back to "their" schools!

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author avatar Connie McKinney
17th Oct 2013 (#)

Agreed, Phyl. It's hard to be split up in two schools located miles apart.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
17th Oct 2013 (#)

Thanks Connie for bringing this article to our forum. An inspired piece!

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
17th Oct 2013 (#)

You certainly have shown us a picture of hope in your article Connie . An excellent report of an otherwise great disaster .
God bless you
Stella ><

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author avatar Connie McKinney
17th Oct 2013 (#)

Thanks, Fern. It's nice to see progress in the flood recovery process.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
17th Oct 2013 (#)

Stella, thanks for your kind words. I think hope is a good way to describe the situation.

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author avatar Mariah
17th Oct 2013 (#)

Positive article article Connie.
Good to see the aftermath recovery making progress.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
17th Oct 2013 (#)

Mariah, it is great to see some progress in the flood recovery. The kids are looking forward to the new school.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
19th Oct 2013 (#)

Very uplifting...heartfelt...thanks Connie!

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author avatar Connie McKinney
19th Oct 2013 (#)

Thanks, Delicia. It's so sad to see the school sit empty. At least now we are seeing some progress toward a whole new school. This is very exciting for the kids and our whole community.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
21st Oct 2013 (#)

Testing times indeed for everyone but human spirit has risen to the occasion. Thanks Connie for the share - siva

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author avatar Connie McKinney
22nd Oct 2013 (#)

Siva, you are so right. People have risen to the occasion. It's great to see some life at the school again. I miss seeing the kids there.

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