Ed Fichtner called it a team effort.
In 1997, he was an ag instructor at Manteca High when conditions conspired to cause $100 million in property losses. Included were 800 homes and other buildings left damaged or destroyed in the rural area between Manteca and Tracy.
Fichtner’s concerns were with the livestock. He and his ag students were granted the go-ahead from Manteca Unified officials for use of district vehicles to transport cattle of farmers to safety.
“We moved cattle to Modesto, Hughson and the school farm,” Fichtner recalled.
Prior to that, he kept close tabs on the levee conditions some 1,000 yards south of Airport Way. “We were out there thinking it was going to happen,” Fichtner said.
Looking back, he was grateful of the support he received from the district, in particular, the superintendent at the time.
“You have to give credit to MUSD for giving us the authority to act,” said Fichtner, who later served on the school board.