School flooded, classes cancelled after water main break in Clairton

School flooded, classes cancelled after water main break in Clairton

CLAIRTON, Pa. — Several feet of standing water pushed against the walls of Clairton Education Center after a water line broke Saturday and about half a foot flooded parts of the building.

Channel 11′s crew at the scene said there was heavy damage to the elementary and kindergarten areas of the building. The high school and gymnasium were spared by the water.

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Cleanup is underway, but there was still standing water in the building Monday.

Crews were called about the water issue around 5 p.m. Saturday. The water main broke along Large Avenue.

School officials made the decision to cancel school for Monday and Tuesday after seeing the extensive damage. They are preparing for students to learn remotely while they try to find a temporary work space for them in the near future.

“Administrators are working on a plan to hopefully provide an alternate setting, an alternate place where our elementary kids can have in-person learning. That plan is not solidified yet, but I can tell you right now I know our students learn best in school with their teachers,” Clairton City School District Superintendent Ginny Hunt said.

Pictures shared with Channel 11 showed water gushing down the hillside in front of the building.

“I saw wastebaskets floating down the hallways. Chairs. Small desks,” said President of the Clairton School Board Richard Livingston. “The whole elementary floor was flooded. The third through fourth grade had six inches of water in the rooms. The first through second grade had probably three inches of water. The cafeteria was flooded. The kindergarten was pretty much totally destroyed.”

Pennsylvania American Water told Channel 11 water was shut off shortly after the break was reported.

School officials said they’re working with disaster restoration services and Pennsylvania American Water.

Pennsylvania American Water released the following statement Monday:

"Pennsylvania American Water continues to work with the Clairton City School District to address the property damage at Clairton Education Center caused by the water main break. Our insurance company and our disaster restoration services contractor are working diligently to assess the damage and begin restoration work.

“We understand the importance of maintaining continuity of education activities for students during these challenging times, and we are committed to working with the school district to return buildings and classrooms to their previous conditions soon as possible.”

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