SUNOL, Calif. (KRON) – An all-out clean-up effort is underway at an East Bay school site that suffered major damage during last weekend’s storm.
“Coming on campus on Sunday, January 1 and seeing my beautiful campus just destroyed pretty much was heartbreaking,” said Molleen Barnes, the superintendent of the Sunol Glen Unified School District.
The damage was suffered in a storm on New Year’s Eve.
“It looked like a river,” Barnes said. “A raging river was just roaring through my campus, and it was just coming up over the creek line and through the campus at a really rapid and scary rate.”
She says the normally-dry Alameda Creek next to the school couldn’t handle the amount of rain from the atmospheric river.
“And the other piece that’s a concern is this bridge for Highway 84, those arches, there’s supposed to be four of them, I believe, that would clear the water. But over the years there’s just been a lot of silt and debris that’s built up. There’s just not enough clearance for the water. So once the water hits the top of those arches, it’s a natural dam that has nowhere else to go but to flood over to the school, which is what happened,” she explained.
The damage is pretty extensive, including three portable classrooms being moved from their foundations. Athletic equipment, the playground, and the community garden were destroyed.
However, since New Year’s day, there has been an all-out restoration effort to clean the campus as soon as possible.
KRON ON is streaming news live now
“Just to be super safe we did have every single classroom that’s going to house students tested for moisture because we don’t want to risk anything of that nature,” she said. “Every single classroom that is the core instruction has been given the green light. So, we are ready for our students on January 9.”
A GoFundMe has been started to help the school district with the recovery effort. Even though there is rain in the forecast, school officials say the restoration and clean-up effort will continue through the weekend with a goal of having classrooms ready to receive students Monday morning.