Carpet installer Chris McCoy, of Conventional Carpets, replaces carpet damaged by an Aug. 12 flood at Martell Elementary School Aug. 23.

Carpet installer Chris McCoy, of Conventional Carpets, replaces carpet damaged by an Aug. 12 flood at Martell Elementary School Aug. 23.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Heavy rain pushes back start date for Martell Elementary

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published August 28, 2019

 Zack Lant, of Conventional Carpets, works Aug. 23 to get the floors at Martell Elementary ready for the installation of carpet and vinyl.

Zack Lant, of Conventional Carpets, works Aug. 23 to get the floors at Martell Elementary ready for the installation of carpet and vinyl.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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TROY — Students at Martell Elementary School, located on Livernois Road, south of Square Lake Road, will have an extended summer due to torrential rains that caused flooding and water damage to the building Aug. 12.

“Rain came in under the front door,” said Kerry Birmingham, the director of communications and strategic initiatives for the Troy School District. “It was so much at once.”

“Because our priority is a safe and clean environment for students and staff, we are delaying the start of school at Martell so that our crews can replace carpeting and drywall and paint the areas that were impacted by the water,” a press release states.

Martell students will report for a full day of classes Sept. 3. The rest of the Troy School District students reported for a half day of classes on their first day of school, Aug. 27.

“The Martell students will only miss two and a half days,” Birmingham said.

Scott Carruthers, the city’s operation manager of streets and drains, explained that the city drains were neither clogged nor functioning improperly. They were just unable to handle “the staggering amount (about 6 inches) of rain that fell that night.”

“Martell is lower than Livernois,” Carruthers said. “There was no place for the water to go. It just sat there. The doors of the school are not like doors on a home.”

He said it took about 48 hours after the rain stopped for the water to drain off. He said rain gauges in Troy ranged from 4.7 inches to over 9 inches for that storm.

Carruthers noted that the heavy rain that resulted in widespread flooding in 2014 was less severe than the Aug. 12 event.

“It’s truly amazing we didn’t have more flooding and damage,” he said.

In a letter to Martell parents, Martell Principal Michelle Barsh and Troy School District Superintendent Rich Machesky said there will still be work to complete in the building when classes resume, but it will be less of a disruption than a longer, more drawn-out schedule for repairs if they had been working around students and staff from the original start date.

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