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December 4, 2012

Leak at West Point High School cancels Monday classes

WEST POINT — A  major water leak at West Point school led officials to cancel classes Monday, as repair crews scrambled to contain a leak in a line that feeds the Cullman County campus.

Officials closed both West Point high and elementary schools, which were left without water as teams worked to repair an old line that had burst feeding into the campus. No damage was reported at the school facility, though the leak caused some flash flooding in the nearby service road and yard.

West Point High School Principal Heith Yearwood said the leak likely stemmed from the fact that the pipe was outdated.

“It seems to have been the age of the pipe, because it had been in there a while with so much pressure,” he said. “So, when it blew, there was a lot of flooding in the road [Sunday] night. It was a pretty large section in front of the elementary school.”

Restroom facilities and the cafeteria could not operate while repairs were ongoing, which left officials with no other option but to call off school for the day.

“That line fed the water to the elementary and the lunchroom, so they were unable to serve breakfast and lunch,” Yearwood explained.

The middle and intermediate schools were not affected, as they are in a separate area and fed by a different water line. Classes at those two schools went ahead as planned.

Crews with the VAW water system were on campus working for much of the day to resolve the issue, and Yearwood said everything should be back to normal for classes to resume today.

“We believe the line is repaired now, but they still have to do the back fill and test the pressure in the lines,” he said. “But we should be able to return to school [Tuesday].”

Superintendent Billy Coleman said his staff used the auto-call alert system to reach parents quickly in the morning once it became apparent that classes had to be canceled Monday.

“It went incredibly well and we made all our calls and got the word out to everyone very quickly without any problems,” he said. “We got it fixed now and they’re double-checking the pressure on the lines so it will be good to go.”

Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at trentm@cullmantimes.com, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.

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