Impromptu ‘Fall Break’

Inside the flooding phenomenon that paused the school year

Photo courtesy of Taryn Holmes

Photo courtesy of Taryn Holmes

Taryn Holmes, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

From September 21 through September 30, a monsoon descended upon the inside of the high school. Streams of water flooded through the hallways and substantial damage occurred mainly to the office and first floor tiles.

While families gathered in the school cafeteria to participate in the annual band fish fry and in the gym to watch the varsity volleyball game, water started to pour in from the ceiling. Within minutes, an inch of water dampened the shoes of all in attendance and a full on stream cascaded into the building.

“​I couldn’t believe how much water was pouring from the ceiling, it literally looked like a waterfall,” Athletic Secretary Linda Hudler said.

At first, the experience seemed unreal. The crowd in attendance stayed at the fish fry, after a period of slight confusion, writing off the incident as a small maintenance problem. Focused on the event, the people ignored the forming puddles and felt no need to leave.

“They [the people at the fish fry] were kind of flustered, but still wanted food so they stayed and stood in the water,” freshman Katherine Holmes said.

The leakage soon required deeper investigation. Eventually, they found the problem and ascribed the mess to a faulty roof drain.

“The flooding was caused by a four inch roof drain that came apart during the heavy rain. I was at my house when I received the call about the flooding,” DHS maintenance personnel Rusty Berg said. “My initial thoughts were about how to stop the flooding.”

As the water increased, people started to question the results of such a catastrophe. Many students’ minds strayed to the possibility of cancelled school, however few put substance behind this hope.

“When the water first started, I was confused and happy, hoping school would be cancelled, but I didn’t think it actually would be,” Holmes said.

Eventually, the decision finalized, resulting in a sigh of relief from the hardworking students and staff.

“When I heard about the flood and that we didn’t have school for a week, I jumped for joy and screamed. I think we all really needed a break to just reset and not stress for a while,” junior MaryFaith Tune said.

To the surprise and joy of many individuals, the school year halted for a week. During this time, huge efforts went towards repairing the leak and fixing water damage throughout the school.

“​The drain pipe was repaired the same night. Equipment was brought in to remove the humidity. This is the part of the process that takes several days,​” Berg said.

After the seven days, the campus recovered enough to resume school. To accommodate for the missed hours, administrators agreed to extend the school day fifteen minutes for the rest of the school year. Although students began with a skeptical attitude, many find it a more logical solution than using bad weather days.

“I didn’t really mind, and to this day, I barely notice the difference,” junior Sarah Dalton said.

Through what seemed like an endless rain and disruptive maintenance problems, the school lands back on its feet. As the school year continues, one looks forward to the next struggle of the district to come, with the knowledge that eventually resolution occurs.