Friday, January 31, 2014
All three public schools in Andrews were affected Friday by a water issue that also influenced those in the city limits in the town of Andrews.
Mike Caviris, principal at Rosemary Middle School, (6-8 grade) personally found out about the issue early around 6:50 a.m. Friday.
“My understanding is there was a water main break,” he said. But again I don’t work for the Town of Andrews and I don’t have any information that would be specific.”
The Town of Andrews encompasses three schools, Rosemary Middle School, Andrews High School and Andrews Elementary.
“We have cancelled school for students today, however, schools are open to take in students who do not have child care or someone home to watch over them,” Caviris said in mid-morning. “So there are some students at school. We have decided to move them to a central location so that we can provide water and nourishment and breakfast. And we have bottled water and rest room facilities at Andrews Elementary.”
The principal at Andrews Elementary school, Brian Clark, learned late Thursday there was a water issue in the town of Andrews that could affect the schools operating on Friday.
Clark became aware of the low water pressure in Andrews at about 6 p.m. Thursday and no water and no pressure in some homes inside the town limits. He said knowing that the schools are fed by the town’s water supply that would possibly affect us.
“I was at school early Friday about 6:45 a.m. and I called the superintendent and made him aware there was no good water pressure in the school and that we needed to think about what we were going to do,” he said.
“We had told parents that we were going to operate buses on a two hour delay and so the district did not want to leave children at the bus stops or the ramp,” he said. “We kept up with what we said and brought kids only to Andrews Elementary School, all students, high school students, middle school students and elementary students all came here. The District asked me to serve as the shelter or home site because there was issues with the drinking water.”
Clark explained he learned Friday morning there was no water pressure in the building and the other two schools would be affected the same way so the district decided to operate the elementary school as the central site for receiving bus students.
“We cancelled school in the Andrews area because there was no way we could operate inside the building as there was no drinking water in Andrews for 24 hours,” he said. “So the school district supplied us with the bottled water and the town of Andrews Fire Department brought us the water for the toilets.”
There were probably 40 children all ages dropped off at the school and they were dismissed at noon. The school personnel made contact with the children’s families to tell them the children would be dismissed at noon.
“It’s my understanding they are resolving the water issue today,” he said. “I just want to make sure the general public understands the safety and concern of the students was first and foremost.”
According to Clark, the school provided the children with drinking water, with a safe and sanitary environment and the cafeteria staff was able to prepare a brunch meal for the students. He said school personnel were able to feed the staff and the bus drivers this morning and all that was above board.
Andrews Fire Chief Bob Barrineau confirmed the fire department has drop tanks, which hold 1,500 gallons of water, which they delivered to Andrews Elementary school early Friday morning.
Later in the afternoon, Andrews Mayor Rodney Giles said he believes they have found the source of the water pressure issue and closed the valve. He said the pressure is steadily rising and emergency management will test the water for 24 hours.
Mayor Giles said the town issued a full alert as soon as the leak was found.
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