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Local scouts help avert school flood
by Jebb Johnston
Jul 20, 2013 | 219 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A group of local Boy Scouts were in the right place at the right time to help prevent flood damage at a West Virginia school.

Like many other scouting groups, Jamboree Troop C415 of the Yocona Area Council, with several members from Corinth, is at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia for the 2013 National Scout Jamboree.

On Thursday, the troop took a 90-minute bus ride to Cherry River Elementary School in Richwood, W.Va., for a community service project. The work involved helping to build an outdoor classroom overlooking the river, clearing a large amount of brush and trees from the riverbank, hauling gravel to help build a walking track, building six picnic tables, and cleaning up some bookshelves in the library for painting.

“We had most of the work done and had moved inside when it came a massive thunderstorm,” said Pat Tucker, one of the leaders with the group. “Somebody noticed that water started to come under a kitchen door.”

The next two hours would bring 5 inches of rain and more water pouring under doors throughout the school. The scouts responded with mops and brooms to keep the water under control and moved computers, books and other items out of harm’s way. After noticing the mops were not helping much at all, some scouts began tearing trash bags to create a seal between the outside of the school and the classrooms.

Outside, they waded in 6 to 8 inches of water to clear out drains and clogged culverts.

Tucker was especially proud of the boys for stepping up.

“Nobody ever told them to do anything — they just jumped in and started problem solving,” he said.

School staff said the building had never flooded like that before, and no one would have been there if it were not for the scout project.

Teacher Sarah Weber sent them a note of thanks: “We really could not have saved our school from flooding without your help. We will always remember our Boy Scout heroes when we think of Mississippi!”

The jamboree runs through Wednesday.
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