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Plymouth Gets Wet

By Randy Garfield; For The Clock
On November 6, 2017

Plymouth Gets Wet

Randy Garfield

For the Clock 

We’ve all heard of wet dreams, but how about a wet nightmare? Last Monday, the Pemigewasset River overflowed, flooding the surrounding areas, including the Ice Arena parking-lot and the houses of a few unlucky Plymouth state students. The water level near the Holderness Bridge rose to 19 feet; 5 feet lower than a 24 foot water level recorded in 1987. No one was seriously injured.

Mikayla Reddy, Juliana Albert, and Sarah Merrill, who are currently residing on South River St, awoke to texts warning of the rising water level. They initially didn’t believe that it would affect them, but soon found out they were wrong. “Nobody had any idea it would get that high” said Reddy. “Not even the landlords,” said Merrill, “anticipated the magnitude of the flood.”

Not long after they received the texts, the three stood on their back porch to watch as water filled their yard and eventually their basement. They estimated about six feet of standing water in their basement. The electricity and heat in their house were damaged. They were told to leave by the Holderness Police Department a little after 12pm. They stayed at a local hotel and were compensated by their landlords.

These girls weren’t alone in their struggle. The entirety of North and South River Streets were evacuated, and all the cars were cleared from the Ice Arena parking-lot. Plymouth State Senior, Bobby Desmond, also a resident of South River St., gave a few statements on his experience last Monday. “It was pretty stressful, but in the end, we got lucky because it could have been a lot worse.” he said. Desmond and his roommates were provided bedding and a room in Smith Hall by the university.

University Police Chief, Steve Temperino offered insight on the “concert of events” in preparation for the flood. He says that they started planning a week ahead of time for the flood.

UPD sent out email warnings including safety precautions and details on where students could park their cars when the Ice Arena parking lot closed. Temperino said that the flooding of the Ice Arena Parking lot cuts the parking capacity for students in half. There are an estimated 2000 parking spaces in the University territory, and about 1100 of those are reserved for residential students. The Ice Arena parking lot provides about 600 parking spaces. “You can’t get all of those cars out of the Ice Arena parking lot in 20 minutes,” Said Temperino, “you need 20-30 hours.” Finding space for all those cars creates, he said, “a big mess”. Fox Park, Lot 705 at the National Guard Armory, and residential streets were used as temporary parking. The email stated: “As long as you are a student at PSU your vehicle (with or without a PSU permit) will not be ticketed as long as you observe these recommendations.” No student was charged to park in these areas at this time.

Temperino said of the procedure that “there’s always room for improvement.” Their main goal is to minimize health and safety hazards, and property damages. 


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