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Grant Wood Area Education Agency
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Grant Wood AEA
Flood Recovery Update

Friday, June 27, 2008

Lisa Fry held the update at the Sixth Street office Friday evening. She noted that the working conditions for staff have changed since the flood – we’re all adapting to new circumstances. She told the team working at Sixth Street that everyone appreciates the work they’re doing – it’s noisy and hot – and we are grateful for their commitment and hard work to restore the agency’s services.

What’s Happened So Far
It is hopeful that the print shop should be up and running again by the week of June 30. The Conference Center, Board Room and administrative offices have been cleaned. We are working to restore van delivery and Media Center Services as quickly as possible.

Cleanup Report
Cliff Ehlinger explained how the cleaning process works. First, the area to be cleaned is sealed off from all staff. On the advice of the industrial hygienist, the Service Master team entering that area wear Tyvek® suits and respirators. They pump air out of the area to create a negative air flow so that no contaminants are pushed into other parts of the building. The team then removes the drywall. They power wash the studs, sand them, scrub them and then seal them with a spray. Once the team has completed these steps, the area is once again safe for staff to enter and work.

Cliff noted there will still be some dust in the air. It’s visible, but it’s most likely just drywall dust that may be flaking off from the edges of the remaining drywall. The Service Master team is running air scrubbers to remove most of this dust. The agency will also vacuum all of the air conditioning ductwork and will replace all of the furnace filters. All boxes that were taken out of the building prior to the drywall removal and that were never wet are okay. All other items that remained in the building will be vacuumed with HEPA filter vacuum cleaners to remove any remaining contaminants. “The building should actually be cleaner than it was before the flood,” he said.

Emotional Ride for All of Us
Lisa Fry shared information that came to the agency from one of the flood recovery agencies. The agency explained that people generally go through various stages during a disaster recovery such as this. First, there’s the heroic stage with adrenaline running high as people respond to the urgent emergency. Then there’s a honeymoon phase – a sense of community emerges as people work together and anticipate help coming. Then a phase of disillusionment settles in – feelings of abandonment, irritability and helplessness are all natural. It’s part of the grieving process that people experience. And like most grieving processes, people will have their good days and bad days, their ups and downs. Once people work through this process, they enter a reconstruction phase or new beginnings phase, where people get on with their lives and focus on reconstruction. Lisa told the group, “We have quality people who are determined and resilient. We know we’ll get through this together. We just have to be patient with one another.”