Parts of Tompkins and Tioga counties are still dealing with flood damage from last week’s storms. Heavy rains caused road closures and states of emergency in several towns. At North Spencer Christian Academy, water levels reached five and a half feet.
Volunteers have been working to clean up the 75-student private school building since the flood. In the first few days, they gutted parts of the first level and tore out the wood gym floor. Now they’re shoveling gravel back into place around the foundation and vacuuming traces of water out of the gym.
Pastor Steve Barrows says the school didn’t have flood insurance. That means they have to raise $100,000 for repairs before they can reopen in the fall.
“It may be that we might have one or two classes, perhaps, where we might not have finished everything, but school’s going to be open,” Barrows says. “September 9th, we’re in business.”
The school will be in the same building, too, in spite of its location on a riverbank. Barrows says the location isn’t the problem – he blames a nearby bridge for the flood. He says debris clogged narrow culvert openings and backed up the water. He’s pushing the department of transportation to tear out the bridge and replace it.