Students volunteer in flood-ravaged Southern Tier

September 30, 2011

The town of Owego, just 30 miles south of Ithaca, was hit hard when the Susquehanna River broke its banks in September 2011. Whats being called a 500-year flood left over a thousand homes damaged and forced residents into temporary shelter. Led by George Frantz, visiting faculty in CRP, several AAP students chose to spend their fall break assisting locals in gutting their damaged homes.

A total of 19 students pitched in over the four days in the unglamorous work of removing soaked drywall, demolishing ruined cabinetry, and removing thick layers of mud from basements. Students of architecture and planning, both graduate and undergraduate, worked closely to further the reconstruction process on four homes. Three of these homes were in the community of Apalachin, and one in the colonial village of Owego.

At one property, with the initial instructions of start with floors, students removed all the damaged flooring, interior walls, and kitchen counters, cleaned the basement, and treated the house for mold and mildew.

That represents a giant step forward for that particular home, said Frantz. 77 year-old Dick Motiska, the owner of the home for 45 years, was on hand each day the students were there to work alongside them and show his appreciation.

Students who participated in the work trip included Dillon Clausner (M.R.P. 13), Benjamin Cummins (M.R.P. 13), Vidhee Garg (M.R.P. 13), Anqi Guo (B.S. URS 15), Chris Hayes (M.R.P. 12), Andrew Jungkuntz (B.S. URS 14), Michelle Kim (B.S. URS 13), Caitlin Kolb (M.A. HPP 13), Royce Novak (B.S. URS 13), Jennifer Pierce (M.R.P. 13), Nishant Tapuria (M.R.P. 13), Weionn Yuen (B.S. URS 13).

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