Many college students are beginning their winter break this week. And while some are relaxing, others are volunteering some of their time to help the community. Our Melissa Kakareka tells us what some students from Alfred State College are doing to mitigate future flood damage in Apalachin.
APALACHIN, N.Y. -- The fall semester may be over, but some students from Alfred State College are still doing work this week.
"We're here to volunteer our time to help this river not flood other homes when it rains," said Alfred State student Angel Cabanaugh.
Seven students from the school's Heavy Equipment Operations program spent the past few days in Apalachin. The group repaired flood damage in the Riverside Cemetery and reconstructed damaged banks along the Apalachin Creek.
"What we've done is built a berm to help control the flow of water. We're moving a gravel bar from the other side of the creek to help increase the flood plain on the back side and we have installed some root wads and long veins to redirect the water," said Alfred State Assistant Professor Mark Payne.
The berm and other techniques put about an extra seven feet high of dirt between the creek and the homes, preventing more flood damage in the future.
"It shouldn't flood those houses if they get another 500 year flood," said Alfred State student Mike Kashdin.
And it gives the group some hands-on experience to go along with their education.
"This teaches the students so much about the construction industry, working away from home and operating machinery and long hours and that's exactly what they are getting here," said Payne.
The students are working in partnership with the Tioga County Soil and Water Department.