The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

September 5, 2013

School cleanup continues

Classes canceled again for some Northern Cambria students

NORTHERN CAMBRIA — Elementary and middle school students in the Northern Cambria School District will not have classes again today as crews continue to clean up following Monday’s heavy rain.

Meanwhile, the Cambria County Department of Emergency Services is conducting a preliminary assessment to determine the extent of damage to properties by the flash flood that dumped as much as 5 inches of rain over a short time.

The department is seeking reports on damage in excess of $5,000 to residential and commercial structures as a result of the flood that impacted properties countywide.

Northern Cambria Borough and surrounding areas were especially hard hit. The elementary-middle school sustained significant damage when a clogged drain sent surface water into the building.

All classes in the district were canceled Tuesday. Classes at the high school, which was not impacted by the flooding, resumed Wednesday.

Ron Springer, director of the county’s emergency management department, said in a statement Thursday that in assessing damage, property owners should consider not only structural and foundation damage, but loss of major contents such as electric service panels, furnaces, water heaters and major appliances.

The department will be submitting the damage estimates to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency for further evaluation.

Should the damage criteria be met, the figures will be submitted to FEMA, where a determination will be made regarding federal disaster aid, Springer said.

He is urging property owners to complete documentation of the damage using photos, videos, cleanup receipts and list of inventories lost.

The department will make public announcements in the future of where, when and how property owners can file individual damage claims, should this initial assessment process advance to that stage, Springer said.

Household cleanup kits are available by calling the department at 472-2050 during week-day business hours.

More than cleanup kits were needed at the school, where Acting Superintendent Rodney Green said the cleanup and sanitizing of hardest hit areas of the school are continuing.

While a professional cleaning service has spent the past three days at the school, the kindergarten through second grade classrooms are not yet ready for  use.

“Everything is moving along,” he said.

School for all students will be in session Monday. While the primary grade pupils likely will not be in their regular classrooms, they will have classes with their assigned teachers.

“We are opening a special area. We will have an alternate classroom area and they will have their regular teachers,” Green said.

Kathy Mellott covers the northern Cambria area for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at kathymellotttd.

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