Lincoln students get 'major' break

October 21, 2004|HERB BROCK

STANFORD - All nine Lincoln County schools were dismissed early this morning and a boil water advisory was issued for all customers served by the Stanford Water Distribution Department because of a "major break" in a water line, officials said.

"We experienced a major break somewhere in our system, and our crews at this moment are out looking for it," a spokesperson for the city water distribution department said at 10 a.m. "In the meantime, we have issued a boil water advisory for all of our 3,500 customers."

Those customers include residents of Stanford and outlying communities, customers of the McKinney Water District, which is supplied by the Stanford Water Distribution Department, and five of the nine county schools - Lincoln County High School, Fort Logan High School, Lincoln County Middle School, Stanford Elementary School and McKinney Elementary School.

The water distribution department notified Lincoln County school officials of the break about 8 a.m., and those officials at first attempted to keep schools open under a contingency plan that would have involved providing students and staff with bottled water, said Assistant Superintendent Karen Hatter.


But water pressure continued to drop until there was little or no pressure at the five affected schools, she said.

"At 8 (a.m.), some of the schools had some water pressure, although it was low. But by 9:15 (a.m.), the pressure had gone down to nothing or almost nothing," Hatter said.

In addition, officials were concerned about sanitary conditions in school bathrooms and cafeteria kitchens, she said.

"Considering all the health and sanitary situations, we decided it was best to call off school for the day," Hatter said. "And because of our transportation system and bus routes and how the system is interconnected between and among all the schools, we decided we couldn't just call off school at five of our buildings. We decided to call it off for all nine."

The district has about 4,000 students. School officials notified parents through television and radio announcements, she said.

For those students who could not be taken home, school personnel took them to those schools that still had at least some water pressure, Hatter said.

At press time, school officials had not made a decision about whether to hold school Friday, she said.

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