Manville Comes Together after Hurricane Ida


Kayla Knape

On the evening of September 2nd, 2021, Manville residents began moving their vehicles and personal items, while frantically trying to keep themselves and their families safe, awaiting Hurricane Ida. In the days to follow, the entire town of Manville was flooded; in some areas, over five feet of water. Homes, businesses, vehicles, and even schools were affected. As the water receded, piles of personal belongings damaged in the flood were out on the sidewalks and streets. Residents and their families were stranded, without homes. 

As the results of the storm circled the internet and consumed the news media in the days after, residents in town began their journey to recovery. The Manville School District opened its doors, offering food and a place to stay to lost or strayed animals, and collecting donations for those who needed it most. The VFW in town offered shelter for individuals whose homes were no longer inhabitable at the time. 

Once roadways were beginning to clear from water and debris, the Alexander Batcho Intermediate School (A.B.I.S.) became the base for a community drive, accepting all donations including food, water, cleaning supplies, clothing, toiletries, towels and blankets, pet food, baby supplies, and other essential items. The donations were quickly distributed the following day.  While donations were being received town-wide, there were several individuals that made a remarkable and notable impact within the community drive. 

Two teachers from schools in the Manville district, Mr. Kevin Caldwell and Mrs. Lauren Kurzius, along with Principal Mr. Michael Magliacano, offered their undivided attention for days on end to help the community get back on its feet. 

There was an immediate and overwhelming response from Manville teachers and staff who wanted to help,” Caldwell said. He explained that over 50 staff members volunteered to collect and distribute donations.

Kurzius, the coordinator of collecting, housing, and distributing, found that she and her colleague’s hard work over the weekend paid off, As soon as the doors opened, it was a heartbreaking and also heartwarming scene. People were so grateful. They were able to fill shopping carts full of cleaning supplies, snacks, get new bedding and new shoes…just replace a little of what was lost. That was a great feeling. Knowing that we could ease just a little stress.” 

Mr. Magliacano was grateful to be able to watch the town pull together and support each other. “Staff members, athletic team members from MHS, former students, parents, and others assisted with unloading, cars, trucks, trailers and organizing the items.” He says the leftover donations such as clothing, shoes, toys, games, and books are still available for families who need them. 

Dr. Jamil Maroun, the Superintendent of Schools for the Manville district, directed one final comment to the community in regards to the momentus efforts put forth after the floods, “We are so incredibly proud of how the Manville Community came together to serve each other at such a time of need.  Our students and staff really rose to the occasion and proved that they care deeply about Manville.” 

When times get hard, it is easy to forget how strong a community is until strong is the only choice it has.


Please join the Manville Community tonight, September 17 at 6:30 PM, at the first home football game to honor those who contributed, as well as to show how strong Manville is together!