Villages, schools continue to battle flooding

It's a long way from being back to normal

Aug. 3, 2010

The drying out process is complete. Now the restoration begins.

It has been two weeks since a heavy rainstorm hit the North Shore and caused flooding that resulted in millions of dollars in damage. But local officials - just like residents - are continuing to grapple with the storm's aftermath.

In Shorewood, North Shore firefighters will be sleeping on cots in the Village Board room tonight while asbestos-laden tiles are removed from the first floor of the combined police and fire station on Murray Avenue that was damaged by the flooding.

"The detective bureau, locker room, lunchroom and conference room are in the trailer," said Police Chief David Banaszynski.

Records that were stored in the basement have been put in the freezer, literally, to prevent mold from growing.

In his 25 years as a police officer, Banaszynski said he has never seen anything like the water that coursed through the village on July 22.

"We had officers waist deep in water in intersections pulling people out of cars," the chief said.

North Shore Fire Chief Robert Whitaker said the firefighters will move to Village Hall at least until Friday morning. The station has a wireless network, and computers and phones will be operational during the temporary move.

Problems reported elsewhere

In addition to the trouble at the police and fire stations, there was minor flooding in the basement of Village Hall and in the Health Department at the Community Center, Banaszynski said.

Shorewood's Atwater Beach also remains closed because of erosion from the storm around the path and under the stairs leading to the beach. The village is unable to get beach-cleaning equipment down the path to the beach.

"Until we can get an engineer in there to make sure the path and steps are safe, it will remain closed," Banaszynski said.

Shorewood schools hit, too

Cleanup also is ongoing in the flood-damaged Shorewood schools, where Universal Restoration Services is helping with the work, said Mark Boehlke, the district's business manager.

Shorewood Intermediate School was the hardest hit, with damage to the air-conditioning chiller on the roof, and drywall and pipes inside, he said.

The gym floor was removed Saturday and the concrete under the floor will dry out for several days. The floor is likely the only item in the entire district that will not be fully repaired by Sept. 1, the first day of school.

About 9, 500 square feet of floor tiles on the first floor of the school also will be replaced.

Plenty of cleanup at SHS

At Shorewood High School, there was flooding in the basement records room and in the lower level of the auditorium, which caused damage to instruments, sheet music, props and costumes. Wood floors in the health and computer rooms will be replaced, and there is drywall and electrical damage as well.

The school's fitness center, closed after a sewer backup during the July 15 rains, was flooded again on July 22. Carpeting and drywall are being replaced, and there is also some asbestos abatement taking place, Boehlke said.

The two elementary schools have wet carpet and drywall to replace. Some supplies were damaged at Atwater School, and the cafeteria at Lake Bluff School had some wall and vent damage.

Boehlke said insurance should cover the cost of most repairs, although there is a $50,000 cap on asbestos removal.

All Bay schools had flooding

In Whitefish Bay, flood waters entered all four public schools, District Administrator Mary Gavin said.

The lower levels at Whitefish Bay High School and at Richards and Cumberland schools were flooded, she said. Cumberland will need a new boiler, while wet carpeting in classrooms at Richards is being replaced with tile floors.

Wrestling mats and some computers at the high school were also damaged and will be replaced.

Gavin said ServiceMaster Remediation Services of Minneapolis is assisting the district with cleaning and sanitizing the building. Damage estimates are between $1 million and $2 million. The district has a $5,000 deductible for storm water damage.

The district plans to hold scheduled registration at the high school on Aug. 17 and 18, and at the middle school on Aug. 19. Elementary registration, scheduled for Aug. 20 and 21, may be changed.

Fall athletic practices will begin on time and Gavin expects the school year to start as scheduled on Sept. 1.

Nicolet still a mess

Meanwhile, at Nicolet High School, the round-the-clock effort to get the heavily damaged high school ready for the school year continues.

Athletic Director Kirk Krychowiak said he is in the process of moving practices for girls and boys volleyball to sites away from the high school.

"We may have to have swim meets on the road in September," he said.

The main gymnasium floor and the floor in the dance studio are being replaced, but it will likely be October before they are done, he said.

School will open Sept. 1, but registration has been moved to Aug. 24. Residents are encouraged to visit the school's website - - for updates.

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