Heavy rain damages classrooms, causes flooding


Abby Matthews

Students are evacuated from the science classrooms that began flooding during Wednesday’s heavy rain.

Staff Reports

Water poured out of the ceiling from multiple areas in the first floor of the high school during period 4 on Wednesday. The flooding was caused by “roof drain failures,” according to an email from Principal Jeffry Henderson. 

One problem was in Chemistry teacher Andy Kominowski’s room. Video taken by students shows water leaking from a ceiling tile for a few seconds before the tile burst and water poured down.

“I heard hissing, and went to the back prep period to investigate and couldn’t find the hissing. I thought it might be a gas leak. I realized it was on the floor of the cleanout, and that air was rushing up out of the floor on the cleanout. So, I went out into the hallway that goes to the performing arts area, and I saw a geyser of water coming out of the floor down the hall,” Kominowski said. “I went to go notify the janitors because their office area is right across from my area, right where the prep area enters into the hallway. They weren’t there, so I came back into the room and the ceiling had already started collapsing.”

“We were all answering questions about the OWLs that we were doing for review, and [Mr. Kominowski] was writing stuff on the board. He made us stop and listen to the pipes and then water started trickling,” Will Eberhart ‘23, who was in Mr. K’s class, said. “It kind of just sounded like rushing water but above us. We were all looking around and wondering where the sound was coming from, and after water started trickling, we all took our phones out to record it. Then it all fell down, like one of the ceiling tiles broke off — like a small piece of it. Then a whole one fell off and then three of them around it splashed down onto the table and soaked the classroom. We all just took our stuff up immediately and ran to the back. Then, it started coming toward us again so we had to run out of the classroom. [Mr. K] was rushing to get all of his technology from under the ceiling.”

Students had moved to safety, so Kominowski hurried to rescue technology and equipment from the front of his classroom under the rushing water. He lost a wireless charger, but the other essentials–a laptop, phone and iPad–”should be okay,” Kominowski said.

Eliza LaFavers, who was in Danielle Myers’s AP Biology class across the hall from Kominowski’s room, said, “I was taking a test and then all of the sudden, it sounded like a waterfall in the next room. It was so confusing to hear all the pipes creaking. I never heard them that loud before.” LeFavers estimated that four science classes evacuated from the hallway at a time. “Water was coming into our room as we were packing up to leave,” she said.

While the flooding coated the floors with water in several places, it did not continue to rise.

“I wasn’t in the classroom that it happened in, but I was in Biomed right across the hall,” Meghan Vaughan said. “The windows were leaking the entire time, and then we looked into the hallway. I was very confused, but I looked in the hall and it was completely flooded. I was kind of scared it would get higher.”

Classes were evacuated immediately, and several teachers were relocated for their fifth period classes as well. The district notified parents via the ParentSquare app that Meet the Teacher Night planned for this evening had been postponed.