Recovering From the Flood of 2011: Flood-Damaged School Disappears

Connie McKinneyStarred Page By Connie McKinney, 24th Nov 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1-_62eq8/
Posted in Wikinut>News>Environment

What was left of a school destroyed by the Flood of 2011 is now gone. Now, the students, staff and parents look forward to the next step: building a new school.

Done With Demolition


A flagpole, a veterans' monument and a pile of bricks are all that's left of MacArthur Elementary School in Binghamton, NY. Demolition finished Friday on the 52-year-old school which was severely damaged by the Flood of 2011.
The end of demolition marks another step in the long process of recovery from the flood. For more than two years, the school sat empty. Now, construction can finally start on the new school which will be built in the same location but will be elevated to guard against future floods.

A Flood Swamps the School


Binghamton sits at the confluence of two rivers: the Susquehanna and the Chenango River. In September 2011, Tropical Storm Lee dumped 7 inches of rain in one day which caused the rivers to swell 25 feet - more than 11 feet above flood stage. Flood Day was also the first day of school. Classes were cancelled mid-day, and buses rushed to get children home ahead of the flooding.
Tropical Storm Lee caused millions of dollars in damages to homes, businesses, streets, bridges and schools. However, MacArthur Elementary School, was one of the hardest hit. The school is located only a quarter mile from the Susquehanna River. Very little could be salvaged from the school. Community members donated school and classroom supplies for teachers and students who lost everything at the school.
Two closed Catholic schools reopened their doors to MacArthur students. Some children have a long bus ride to school but they cope with it. Still, students, staff and parents look forward to the day that the whole school can be together again under one roof.

Demolition Begins

In October, the bulldozers arrived to begin the monumental task of knocking down the school. See Recovering From the Flood
Bricks and cement made up much of the school. The school also had several wings. So demolition was a long, difficult task - even for bulldozers and other heavy equipment. The whole process took about six weeks.
Construction crews left the flagpole and a veterans' monument alone. This must have taken some skill because they use large machines and yet didn't touch these valuable objects.

Looking Forward to a New School


Now, the last wall of the school has come tumbling down. There are still piles of bricks littering the site. Several trucks and bulldozers remain at the site. Crews still have to haul away debris, clean up the site and get it ready for construction.
The new school will be built in the same location although the building will be moved closer to the road and farther away from the river. The building will be elevated so future floods won't be a problem. School officials searched for another site but could not find a suitable one. An elementary school needs a lot of space for a playground, parking and the school building.
Step two is to start construction - which is scheduled for January. Construction crews will work through the snow and cold of winter for the next couple of years in order to get the school completed by its target date of September 2015. Children should be back in their new building in time to mark the fourth anniversary of the flood.

Here is one I did on the Flood of 2011
Here's one on flood heroes
Here's one on saving pets from the flood

Attribution
I took all the photos myself.

Tags

Flood, Flood Damage, 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 Mark Gordon Brown
25th Nov 2013 (#)

Wow what an ordeal, you have covered this event well. Hopefully things will go as planned and the school will be completed on time.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
25th Nov 2013 (#)

Thanks, Mark. I hope there are no more delays either.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
25th Nov 2013 (#)

Shared! Since I started working on the I'm With Phil project, seeing how different cities recover from disaster has been really fascinating to me.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
25th Nov 2013 (#)

wow "Connie...you are truly some body...thank you..and I shared too...

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author avatar Connie McKinney
25th Nov 2013 (#)

Thanks, Carolina and Phyl. I hope I can write about the start of construction here and a new school a couple years down the road!

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author avatar Jhon Marshall
25th Nov 2013 (#)

New things are made on the memories of old one, so don't worry new construction will be better

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author avatar Connie McKinney
25th Nov 2013 (#)

Jhon, what a nice thing to say. I believe you are right.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
25th Nov 2013 (#)

After the storm comes the clam and rebuilding new memories are the next start for a better tomorrow

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author avatar Mariah
25th Nov 2013 (#)

I couldn't agree more with Fern's excellent comments on this.
Well written and illustrated Connie.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
25th Nov 2013 (#)

Thanks, Fern and Mariah. Fern, well said.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
26th Nov 2013 (#)

Keep us posted with the future progress Connie . As always , very interesting article .
God bless you
Stella ><

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author avatar Connie McKinney
26th Nov 2013 (#)

Stella, yes, I will keep everyone posted. Thanks so much.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
28th Nov 2013 (#)

So happy that children's safety was assured at the time of floods and steps to ensure safety against future floods are in place. We keep learning all the time. Thanks Connie for a great share of pictures too - siva

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author avatar Connie McKinney
28th Nov 2013 (#)

So wise as always, Siva. Thanks so much.

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