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September 10, 2013

West Point intermediate, middle schools close after water outage (UPDATED)

WEST POINT — A massive water main break forced the closure of West Point intermediate and middle schools Tuesday morning, sending roughly 800 students home.

A 6-inch pipe burst overnight and flooded an area near the high school baseball field, leaving the two other schools without running water early this morning, said West Point High School Principal Heith Yearwood. The elementary and high school did not close and continued with regularly scheduled classes.

“We began calling notifying parents around 6:45 and 7 a.m., but some of the buses had already run and had students,” Yearwood said. “The elementary and intermediate schools did not having working bathrooms and couldn’t serve breakfast, so that’s why they had to let students out.”

Repairs on the burst main were completed by Tuesday morning at a cost of about $300 for materials, said VAW Water Department Superintendent Shawn Whittle.

“We got the first call around 5:30 a.m.,” Whittle said. “The pipe was installed sometime in the late 1980s, so the age and the amount of pressure — 100 pounds of pressure — were mostly likely factors in the break.”

Tiffeny Owens can be reached by email at towens@cullmantimes.com or by phone at 256-734-2131, ext. 135.

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