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Water main break closes schools, businesses

Northwestern Local Schools were forced to close Wednesday, and a boil advisory was issued for the village of Lawrenceville and a nearby mobile home park, all due to a water main break.

High school and middle school students were sent home and parents of elementary school students were advised schools would close after a water main break occurred on the west side of the high school near the water tower, Superintendent Tony Orr said.

“We had to make a rather quick decision because we realized we weren’t going to have water for the (restrooms), the water fountains, and we weren’t going to be able to provide lunch. The best thing we could do was close schools for the day,” Orr said.

Troy Wildman, North Hampton Water Treatment Operator, said an 8-inch water main break occurred at the high school about 7 a.m. due to a pipe-fitting leak that was likely caused by the frigid temperatures.

Clark County Department of Utilities Deputy Director Chuck Bauer said the water main break effected at least 100 locations, causing some to be without water and others to have low water pressure. Customers should boil their water for at least one minute before using it, he said.

The incident left the high school, the village of Lawrenceville and the Springfield Meadows mobile home park without water for several hours.

Officials expected water to be restored at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Wildman said, and schools were expected to be open today.

“This is only the second time this has happened in 10 years. It’s really a rarity,” Wildman said.

Melissa Potts, who works at Bullskin Diner, said the water main break forced the business to close for the day on Wednesday.

“We can’t serve our customers … Hopefully tomorrow we’ll be back open,” Potts said on Wednesday.

Northwestern eighth grader Meghan Smith, however, was happy that incident provided another day off from school.

“It’s pretty nice. No homework,” Smith said, adding she planned to spend the day watching TV or playing video games.

For more information about the water main break and the boil advisory, call the Clark County Department of Utilities at (937) 521-2150 and press 1.

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