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Widespread flooding forces Northern Cambria to cancel school

By Maria Miller 


NORTHERN CAMBRIA, Pa. -- For the second time in as many weeks, parts of the region are cleaning up after damaging flood waters.

Last week, the Northstar School District was forced to cancel classes on the second day of school after flooding in Boswell and Jenner Township. On Tuesday, it was the Northern Cambria school district. 

Most of the town was underwater Monday night as emergency officials estimate 4-5 inches of rain came down in less than an hour. On Tuesday, many people were cleaning out their basements and washing mud from their homes and driveways as school officials did the same in many classrooms. 

It's going to take a lot of work until it can all be cleaned up and sanitized and that's why the district has already canceled classes for the elementary and middle schools Wednesday and Thursday. 

"Even though we do have insurance and a large deductible to that, I would expect our damages to exceed $200,000 before it's all said and done," said Rodney Green, interim superintendent for the Northern Cambria School District. 

Green said he came to work Monday night to find half the elementary and middle school flooded.

"Water was standing in the hallways. We also had water in the cafeteria and we had water in the gym," said Green. "Our administrative suite, attached to the middle school, was completely flooded also. "

The once mulch-covered playground is now a muddy mess and about 15 classrooms are soaked. On Tuesday dozens of professional cleaners got to work, moving furniture, sopping up water and conducting mold tests. 

"There will be a lot of restoration, water extraction and carpeting extraction," said Green. "A lot of things are going to happen in the next 48-72 hours." 

But it wasn't just the school that flooded. Half the town was underwater. 

"About 7:30 it started and about a half hour later I looked out and it was literally a river all around my house," said Luke Shuttym,whose home was flooded. 

"It happened several years ago, but not this bad," said Karen Wargo, who lives in Northern Cambria. "I've never seen it this bad." 

"We do plan to have our high school reopen tomorrow. We want to get grades 9-12 back to a normal routine," said Green. "We're not sure here. I can say for certain that we'll be closed here at least Wednesday and Thursday and I'm not sure about Friday yet."

 
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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times

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