October 20, 2010
Students clean Trout Brook flooding debris
Members of McGraw High School environmental club return to creek after latest storm
McGRAW — Students in McGraw High School’s environmental club had just finished cleaning creeks around the village in late September when a storm hit, causing flooding.
So the club decided to clean Trout Brook again Tuesday, picking up trash brought by the Sept. 30 flood.
“We knew there would be a lot of stuff down here because of the flood,” said sophomore Charlotte Russell as she trudged along the creek’s rocky banks off the Bennett Street dead end.
Eight students waded along the shallows and filled large garbage bags with books, pieces of metal and plastic, even the backboard for a basketball hoop. One book was about scientific evidence of the Christian biblical flood, found near a pen holder from Niagara Falls.
The students took part in the county Soil and Water District’s annual river cleanup on Sept. 25 but knew their assistance would be needed again.
Advisor Nicole Lener, a high school biology teacher, told students to stay warm and watch their footing, as the creek was flowing fast.
Lener said district teachers are also collecting money for the McGraw Food Pantry at the Methodist Church, as another way to help in the flood’s aftermath.
Cortland County suffered extensive damage from high creeks and rivers in some areas.
The students commented on the 12-foot banks next to them, which were steep and in some cases had lawn overhanging the bank — the result of floods eating away the property.
“This used to be a gentle slope,” Lener said, pointing at one section of bank. “Look what the creek has done.”
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