For many students, Thursday’s flood led to a carefree day with no classes and few worries. But for some off-campus students, the day took a more dramatic turn.
Will Merchan, a senior majoring in graphic design, was evacuated from his Conklin Ave home at 10:30 a.m. yesterday — in a raft.
Firemen came and knocked on the door of the house to assist in their evacuation.
“When we opened the front door, water was starting to come in,” he said. “Our front door is probably a good five feet above the ground.”
A car parked in front of Merchan’s house was very close to being totally submerged in water.
Both Merchan’s car and his roommate’s car were parked behind the house, which they couldn’t see at the time of evacuation.
“We assume both of our cars are gone,” he said.
With little time to evacuate, Merchan packed his laptops and grabbed his phone before leaving. He said he didn’t know when he will be able to return.
“It still hasn’t hit me really, it won’t until I see the damage,” he said. “I’m just assuming the worst.”
Merchan plans to stay at a friend’s house for the time being.
Evacuation calls were made all around Downtown Binghamton, ordering other students to leave their homes.
Jeanette Paez, a senior majoring in biology, was evacuated from her home on Court Street. She first received a phone call from her landlord at 6:30 a.m., and then heard firefighters making announcements between 10:30 and 11 a.m. on Court Street.
“We decided we weren’t going to move until around 12,” she said.
Paez and her roommates are staying with friends on Walnut Street.
But even their shelter had water problems of its own.
“At the house we’re at, the basement has about five feet of water,” she said.
While the water crept up, life for Paez and her friends remained relatively calm. They even went out to grab a bite to eat at Cyber West Café.
Paez’s friends live on the third and fourth floor of their apartment building, and she remained hopeful that there would not be too much damage there.
Gina Aufiero, a junior majoring in biology, received the same wake-up call this morning.
“[The firefighters] came and knocked on the apartment building,” she said. “We weren’t going to leave, we figured it was optional.”
Aufiero and her roommate went to move their cars into a parking garage, but when they returned, warnings intensified.
The two eventually drove to campus for shelter and are staying there with friends.
“I’m really nervous,” she said. “I have no idea what it looks like now, but there was water coming up from the river about two blocks down from where we live.”
Aufiero is hoping to return home on Friday, but like the others, she can’t be sure when the mandatory evacuation order will be lifted.
“On the ride over we saw water up to at least the second story of the houses,” she said. “I felt terrible.”