Immense Flooding Causes Trouble For SHS

The remnants of Hurricane Florence brought torrential downpours to Scarsdale High School on Tuesday, September 25, causing extensive flooding and numerous problems for students and teachers on their way home from school. Though the rain persisted throughout the entire day, the afternoon brought the worst of the weather, with extremely heavy rains and massive puddles surrounding the school.

Towards the end of the school day, such a large amount of rain had accumulated towards the Brewster entrance of school that the brook eventually filled up with rainwater and overflowed all the way to the picnic tables, flooding the nearby parking lots, which were still speckled with cars. Ultimately, the entrance leading into the Brewster front circle of the school became so flooded with water that it had to be blocked off, and the collective flooding of the brook and its surrounding parking lots combined to form one humongous body of water. SHS student Emily Messerle ’21 noted that “The front of the school looked like a lake!” Messerle usually walks home from school, but on Tuesday, her mother had to pick her up due to the extreme weather. Some daring souls braved the floods and waded in almost knee-deep water to reach Brewster Road, but most students were obstructed by the deep waters and were forced to take different routes home.

For those who drove to school, the flood posed a serious problem. Multiple announcements over the loudspeakers sounded throughout the afternoon telling students and teachers to move their cars, and many rushed outside to brave the downpour. However, spots along Brewster road and the surrounding streets quickly filled up as people moved their cars from the parking lots, creating even more complications. SHS student Kelly Kim ’20 drove back to school after a fifth period free on Tuesday, and in addition to fogged up windows that hindered her view while driving, she faced an even larger problem when parking, explaining, “All the spots on Brewster were already taken. I had to park about a ten minute walk away from the school and had to walk in the pouring rain to get to class. By the time I got to school, my clothes, hair and backpack were completely soaked.” By the end of the school day, some parked cars were wheel-deep in water, and the downpour still had yet to let up. Road closures further obstructed students’ and teachers’ rides home.

Despite the safety hazards posed by the flooding and intense rain that made for a dangerous drive home, school was only let out five minutes early, which did not seem to help much, for by that time, the flooding was already in full force. It seems as though much can be improved in regards to SHS’s response to flooding, such as earlier dismissals or water barriers. Kim suggested, “The school could add a ‘barricade’ around the brook to avoid flooding into the parking lots.” SHS will need to learn from the problems of last week to improve the response to future floods.