Hundreds trapped at KRHS after storm

Fallen tree blocks exit to high school, middle school


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Photos



  • Cars get stuck trying to drive around tree that blocked KRHS exit Tuesday Photos by Laurie Gordon




  • Nature strands motorists




  • Assistant principal Rob Black, armed with cones, warns against the tree and the mud




By Laurie Gordon

— Standing at the Kittatinny middle school track meet everyone knew that storms were coming that evening. But no one knew how fast or furious a storm would hit.

The hundred meter run went off without a hitch and then it was time for the mile. I was standing next to the mom of one of Kittatinny’s stand out milers, Molly Riva. Molly was having a great race in the four lap event. All of a sudden the wind started picking up and I glanced over my left shoulder to see a darkened swirling sky above the metal bleachers where numerous people were seated.

Molly was having a great race and was just about done with lap three when this sky got darker... A lot darker and suddenly there was chaos. Kids scrambled for their backpacks as parents scrambled for their kids and the final lap of the mile came in as everyone vacated the area.

The torrential downpour was tremendous. The rumblings of thunder and streaks of lightning were upon us.

As cars headed for the exit of Kittatinny Regional High School a shocking discovery greeted them: a large tree had fallen across the entrance/exit of the school. There was no way out.

Some people circumvented the line of cars waiting and karma kicked in. As they tried to go around the fallen tree, they got stuck in the mud.

Hundreds of people waited to try to exit the school. The administration went into action.

Police were on the scene but the tree had taken out powerlines, creating a scary situation.

Assistant principal Rob Black was soon on the scene. Dressed in a suit and tie, he braved the storm to bring cones out to block the area. Other staff were in place and they were looking for an exit plan.

Calmly and cooly, Black said “We’ve opened another exit. Make a very careful K-turn and head toward the track.”

Meanwhile, Principal Brian Bosworth sent an email to the Kittatinny populace, informing them of the emergency and canceling all evening activities.

As police attached straps to the stranded cars to pull them out of the mud, Kittatinny came together — as the school always does — and found away out. A service exit was ungated and opened to let all of the cars and buses from the school exit through the “Bat Cave” of Kittatinny.

The administration also sent a mass email to its parents ensuring them that the 530 busses would be able to take their kids home.

As we exited the athletic director, Chris Carroll, was by the ungated side exit that looped around the track and over toward the Hampton Municipal Building.

He said “You just can’t make this stuff up, but as always Kittatinny comes together in the most unthought-of ways.”

As my daughter and I left the secret exit at Kittatinny, she said she had been very scared. She also said she was thankful her school for coming up with another way out.

The storm caused mass outages throughout the area.

Photos are of the tree that had fallen in front of the exit/entrance to Kittatinny regional high school and middle school also of police trying to pull cars that had tried to circumvent the fallen tree and finally Rob Black the assistant principal of Kittatinny leaping into action -abate in his suit - to help control the situation and assure people another entrance had been opened





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