The Black River Technical College temporary closed its campus on April 27, 2011 due to rapidly rising flood waters and road closings. Devastating flooding followed several days of heavy rains resulting in the Black River overflowing into surrounding low-lying areas of East Pocahontas and into the Black River bottoms region. The river crested at 27.92 feet.
The entire Black River campus is approximately 250,000 square feet. Over 60% of the buildings received varying degrees of water damage with one half of those buildings “severely damaged” by the flooding. The flood waters basically formed a “horseshoe” around the campus, with various water levels standing in different buildings, as well as in other low places. The most serious flooding occurred in the Health/Science Building and the Library/Academic Complex.
At the recommendation of insurance personnel; Loretta Williams, Vice President of Finance for Black River Technical College, contacted Metro Disaster Specialists for help. Upon the initial inspection, the assessment team determined and informed the college that spaces which had sustained water damage must undergo extensive work, including the removal of all furnishings and equipment, including computers, and, in the case of the library, all books, even though these items themselves in some areas may have escaped actual water damage. The library books were transported to Metro’s facilities for storage in a climate controlled environment.
Furniture that could be salvaged such as metal desk and chairs were cleaned of any contaminates and stored on site in containers located within Metro’s secure fenced perimeter. Metro’s team remained on site 24 hours per day until all buildings were secure.
Faculty and staff whose offices were in the water-damaged buildings were assisted in relocating until the clean-up was completed.
Drywall in affected areas was removed 2 to 4 feet high. The building and all structural components were dried and decontaminated with antimicrobial products and dehumidification processes and any wooden studs were treated with an antimicrobial product.
An immediate concern for the Administration was the 2011 Graduation Ceremonies scheduled just two weeks away in the Randolph County Development Center. Metro quickly moved into action – extracting water, removed carpet, drywall, and wet seats to mitigate the damage and took necessary measures to insure the graduation ceremony could be held in the Randolph County Development Center on May 12, 2011.
Unfortunately in 2017 BRTC experienced almost the same loss as in 2011. Once again they called upon Metro Disaster Specialists to mitigate and reconstruct the college campus.