Christ the King High School in Middle Village sustained an estimated $1 million in damage after the remnants of Hurricane Ida passed through the Northeast on Sept. 1.
Michael Michel, the president of Christ the King, said the entire basement of the 280,000-square-foot building was filled with about 5 feet of water by 2 a.m. on the morning of Sept. 2. An estimated 1,800 gallons of water was pumped out of the basement per hour — Michel said the pumps were working for a total of 70 hours.
The boilers, hot water system, injector pumps, oil pumps, a weight room and thousands of books were destroyed during the flooding. Michel also said new air filtration systems — that were supposed to be an extra precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19 — were destroyed as well.
The hurricane came through during the first week of school for Christ the King. However, Michel said they were able to maintain the normal school schedule.
“It hasn’t altered classes,” Michel said. “It has altered some books and material, but we’re working around that. It’s interfering with the heating system.”
Michel said thankfully, heating isn’t needed right now since the weather is still good and expects everything will be up and running within the next couple of weeks.
Christ the King hopes to get most of the money for these repairs through insurance, but Michel said they would also likely have to take from the school’s emergency fund.
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection pumped out the water and the school hired private contractors to clean, repair and paint the basement.
“I want to recognize there was a lot of help and support, and I thank them all,” Michel said. “We will be having our open house, which is scheduled for Oct. 4. We were afraid we might have had to cancel, but no, it is full steam ahead.”