Tropical Storm Irene led to extensive flooding throughout the Village of Bronxville, including the Bronxville School. Because of backup from the Bronx River water infiltrated the first floor early Sunday morning and continued throughout the day. The river began to subside late Sunday, and the situation inside the School has improved as a result. However, the first floor, the parking lot, and the fields remain closed until further notice.
It is clear that the mitigation efforts undertaken following the flood of 2007 have had a positive impact. We relocated the boiler/switchgear above the floodplain, so the School experienced no loss of electrical power. The use of tile, cement board, and other water resistant materials will make it possible to recover more quickly and minimize replacement costs. By replacing classroom baseboard “univents” with ceiling units we prevented water from entering the building through classroom external walls. After 2007, we moved several functions to the second floor in order to reduce their vulnerability. As a result, there was no damage or disruption to the high school office, guidance office, orchestra, and a computer lab – all previously located on the first floor. The School also has comprehensive wireless access, so the network and phone system have not been interrupted.
This past week the School also took a number of steps to prepare for and anticipate the effects of the storm. Student athletes removed the contents of their lockers. Copy machines and some athletic equipment were moved to the second floor. Vehicles were parked off site. Materials were moved off classroom floors. Sandbags were located at entrances. The School was placed under twenty‐ four hour watch. These precautions mitigated but did not eliminate water damage.
Looking ahead, the school faces a number of challenges. The main gym floor will need to be replaced. Floors, walls, and furniture will need to be dried, cleaned, and sanitized. The following recovery efforts are underway:
- Remaining water on the first floor is being pumped out, with the cooperation of the Village, the Eastchester Fire Department, and Lawrence Hospital.
- We have contracted with BMS CAT to assist us with the cleanup and restoration needed for full recovery. BMS CAT is the same firm that provided help in 2007.
- We are proceeding to sanitize the turf field and the parking lot.
- We are working with an industrial hygienist to ensure the safety of all occupants.
- We are running key activities scheduled for this week, including student leadership training and new teacher orientation.
- We are documenting the effects of the flood and working with our consultant to prepare an insurance claim.
For the balance of the week we will provide the community with daily updates through our emergency notification system.