NewsOn6.com & Ashli Sims, The News On 6
BROKEN ARROW, OKLAHOMA -- A major water main break in Broken Arrow shut down several Green Country schools and temporarily closed businesses Thursday.
The break caused The Broken Arrow School District, along with Summit Christian, Legacy Christian and Rhema Bible College, to cancel classes for Thursday.
"We had a water line break this morning that affected our entire city," Stephanie Higgins, City of Broken Arrow, said.
The line burst near 71st and Oneta Road in eastern Broken Arrow. Broken Arrow city crews say they noticed something was wrong around 2 a.m. Thursday morning, but they couldn't locate the source of the leak until day break. That left school officials with a difficult choice.
"We had three buildings out, then we had seven, and then we had eleven. And when we got to eleven I said I don't think we can have school today," said Dr. Jarod Mendenhall, Broken Arrow Schools Superintendent.
In all, 24 of 25 Broken Arrow Public Schools sites had little to no water. Schools posted signs, the district activated its phone system, and buses ran their routes to make sure students and their parents knew classes were canceled.
"It's always tough on parents. A day like today it's beautiful outside and they haven't made plans," Mendenhall said. It's a Thursday. Everybody's going to work. So I think you're going to see a lot of kids at work today."
The broken line cut into some businesses' bottom lines, since many couldn't operate without water. Angel Shamsid-deen, General Manager at a Broken Arrow IHOP, said he did something he's never done in 13 years of managing a
"First time, closed my doors. Closed my doors because of this water main break down here," he said. "It's very unfortunate. Lost a lot of business this morning."
Bobcats and bulldozers were busy digging up the 12-inch line and are working on replacing it. Crews were able to shut the valve to the broken line and restore water by noon Thursday.
Broken Arrow city officials are still trying to figure out what caused the line to break.
School officials say all of their sites are back on line and school will be back in session Friday.