Hidden History: Finn Academy students learn about Flood of ’72

Local News

A group of fifth graders from Finn Academy recently had the chance to watch footage and listen to police dispatch and radio recordings from the Flood of 1972. The students had been learning about natural disasters in their class and the Chemung Valley History Museum helped provide them with a real-life example. 

The door to the museum was taped off at the height of where the floodwaters were, and stickers were placed throughout the building at the same level so the students could get an idea of how high the water was after the flood. 

Fire Marshal Keyes was also on hand to answer questions and help the kids come up with a plan for before, during, and after a natural disaster or severe weather situation. 

“So it’s always good to be aware and to have a plan. And you can look back historically and say, ‘oh, I would have done things differently’ but you never really know,” said Susan Zehnder, the museum’s Education Director.

Although Keyes was only four years old at the time of the flood, he does have some memories from the experience, and he shared those with the students. 

Zehnder said she heard many of the kids say they knew of relatives who lived through the flood and wanted to ask them more about it.

"I think it's going to open up some more conversations between them and their relatives and friends," Zehnder said.

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