Flood on the Second Floor
January 27, 2014
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Two weeks ago an event occurred in math teacher John Maienshein’s room on the second floor that caused a lot of confusion, disorder, and excitement for students.
January 7 was the same day that Baltimore County had a delay due to extremely cold temperatures, causing schools to have heating issues. The authorities in charge decided that a two-hour delay would be a sufficient amount of time for the school to heat up.
However, they may have been incorrect. Due to the cold last Tuesday morning, a coil that was part of the radiator in room 238, had a hole in it and began to leak. Students knew something was wrong when large amounts of steam were released from the top of the radiator. Next, according to witnesses, brown murky water began to seep out from underneath.
Sophomore Luke Weinkam, who sits next to the radiator, described, “I heard noises coming from the radiator, and then Mr. Maienshein told me I should move. I looked down and there was dirty water coming out.”
This water was deemed dangerous at the time, and students were instructed to leave the room immediately.
“He [Mr. Maienshein ] was very calm about the whole situation, but he told us that we needed to go out into the hallway,” sophomore Madison Tivvis explained.
But that didn’t stop the excitement from spreading. Everyone went down to see what was happening and at one point, the amount of steam in the room was so great that there was no visibility.
“I had come back to check and see how it was going and there was so much steam, I couldn’t see past the door frame or even see the windows,” Mr. Maienshein explained.
Janitors and administrators were summoned immediately of course, and the mess was cleaned up as soon as possible. The water was vacuumed, the windows were opened to release the steam, and the radiator is currently being repaired, although it hasn’t been fixed yet. But this wasn’t until after water, steam, damage, and disorder spread to other parts of the building.
“Water and steam were in the hallway, and the water went down stairs, next door, and outside; it was running down the sidewalk,” Mr. Maienshein described.
After a large amount of clean up, confusion since Mr. Maienshein’s class was relocated for about three days due to the lack of heat, and excitement, Room 238 was returned to the order it originally had. But not without the questioning of the decisions made by the Baltimore County executives.
Many students believe that Baltimore County should have gotten off that day because of impending dangers due to the cold. Not only do they think it was unsafe for students who have to walk to school or have to wait at their bus stop, students think that if they had gotten off, they would have been spared from the radiator leakage and the flood.
“I understand where they’re coming from [giving a two hour delay], but I agree; we should have gotten off. It created a lot of damage, like flooding the whole room below it. And it could have been dangerous for students. A day off could have prevented this,” sophomore Antonio Barton argued.
Mr. Maienshein disagrees, however.
“Two hours was plenty of time for our school. Causes leading up to this may have been happening for sometime, the cold just accelerated it,” he explained.
Either way, no one was hurt, and little damage was done. For some, this incident has opened eyes to what could have happened and what may happen in the future if Baltimore County does not make what are appropriate decisions in their eyes. To others, this incident was just a freak accident that has been put behind them.