More than 30 Paterson school buildings sustained water damage from Ida | Paterson Times

More than 30 Paterson school buildings sustained water damage from Ida


Thirty-three school buildings sustained water damage as remnants of hurricane Ida slammed Paterson with heavy rain last week prompting the Board of Education to convene an emergency meeting on Friday to start the academic year remotely.

“We had severe damage to some of our buildings, more so than others,” said superintendent Eileen Shafer on Friday.

Facilities director Neil Mapp said most buildings sustained flooded basements and roof leaks. He said in some cases water came in through drains and bathrooms as the antiquated combined sewer system filled up with stormwater.

Mapp showed images of the damage, including a badly flooded basement.

School officials spent millions of dollars in preparation for in-person school opening in September. Schools in Paterson have been closed since March 2020. It’s not clear how long the district will remain remote.

“We need to leave that date open because we have some severe damage,” said Shafer.

Shafer said the district will remain remote until repairs are made and the schools are ready for students.

“We want the entire district to go remote until we can get some of this damage remediated,” said school board president Kenneth Simmons.

Simmons said more water came into the buildings as the Passaic River crested following the downpour.

School board member Emanuel Capers said many students and their families were badly impacted by the storm.

School officials did not have a dollar figure for the damages. Simmons said district buildings have insurance.

Simmons said the district is appealing to the New Jersey Department of Education to count the remote days towards the school year.

Governor Phil Murphy had wanted all schools to open in-person unless they could show extenuating circumstances, said Simmons.

“For us this is an extenuating circumstance,” said Simmons.

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  • HankMorgan

    Between Superintendent Eileen Shafer, the COVID pandemic and the climate change flooding disaster education for the students in Paterson’s public schools has come to an end.

    • DANNY cee

      you aint lying bro. smh

  • MarquinhoGaucho

    Wait till the next storm….we have had 6 storms of the century in the past 15 years …

  • alonzo scripps

    Facilities Director Neil Mapp provided the best explanation of Paterson's flooding problems.When storm water,rain or snow, is allowed to enter the 75 / 100 year old sewer system, disaster follows.
    Obviously the decades old system was not engineered for today's population in addition to the loss of ground / grass for concrete. Concrete prevents natural loss into the ground.
    Permitting large volumes of storm water maximizes costs to the operating water Treatment systems. The higher costs because of mega volumes also reduces the equipment lifecycle and water quality.
    Storm water should be a sperate system that directs the piping outfall to the river or designated area.
    A significant but overlooked area's is waste / droppings from birds and animals and vehicle fluids which must be processed for our drinking water.
    Hopefully our B A , Ms Long has addressed this issue when she revised her original Water / Sewer costs to our Budget.

    • HankMorgan

      Keep dreaming.