Water leak closes Oelwein school - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Water leak closes Oelwein school

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OELWEIN (KWWL) -

Hundreds of children who attend the Little Husky Learning Center in Oelwein will be out of school at least one more day. It comes after a water line broke in the center - leaving 2-3 inches of standing water. A maintenance worker noticed the water around 8 a.m. Monday. Since then, dozens of volunteers, including students, teachers, staff members and others worked to soak up and remove the water. But it might take some time to assess the damage.

"The faucets are on the wall and it came down and sheared off the faucets and that's what sprayed out the water," says Oelwein Schools Superintendent Steve Westerberg. He says sometime between Saturday night and Monday morning, a battery came loose from its position in a laundry room at the center and broke off faucets, causing water to spray into the building for hours.

"It was clear water. It was a faucet that was sheared off so it was out of a faucet instead of surface water that came into the building. The floors are cleaner than they probably ever will be. Tough way of getting them to that point," says Westerberg.

As word spread of the leak, about 50 volunteers showed up to help clean up the center. They cleaned rugs, moved supplies and equipment and did as much as they could to dry everything out.

"At 8:30am, I thought we'd be doing this all day and all night and we were done by 2pm with the major part of the work. A great turnout by the community of Oelwein helping us out in a tough time," says Westerberg.

Still, the extent of the damage isn't clear. The center will be closed Tuesday with the goal to reopen Wednesday.

"Obviously, we have insurance to cover things like this and this is one of them. That's one of my first calls tomorrow to my insurance agent to let him know how much fun we had on Labor Day," says Westerberg.

The center is a partnership between Oelwein Schools and Northeast Iowa Community Action Agency. About 300 students attend either child care, Kindergarten, Junior Kindergarten, head start, pre-school, or early childhood special ed at the center. Parents will have to find alternative arrangements for at least tomorrow. This is the second water problem at the school in two years. Last year, heavy rains caused water to seep into part of the building. Center officials say this is not anything like the situation last year.

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