This Custodian Stayed At His School All Night Pumping Water During Ida’s Storms


Nobody told Peter Hemans to spend the night at Hackensack Middle School last week, as terrible storms arrived in New Jersey. But Hemans did it anyway — and he’s now being praised for helping the school avoid the flooding brought on by Hurricane Ida’s remnants.

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Peter Hemans spent the night at New Jersey’s Hackensack Middle School, where he is the head custodian, to make sure emergency sump pumps were working properly.

Anibal Galiana


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Anibal Galiana


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The storm hit less than a week before classes were to begin at the school in Bergen County. But because of Hemans, what could have been a stressful aftermath instead turned into relief.

«We are ready for our scholars because of his amazing dedication,» Hackensack Middle School said on its Facebook page, as it called Hemans a hero.

Hackensack’s students started classes on Tuesday — a sight that Hemans says he was glad to see.

«When you see them, especially in the cafeteria, it’s a joy seeing them eating and playing,» he said. «They’re very happy to be back to school rather than being at home.»

  • hurricane ida
  • New Jersey

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