The arctic temperatures have passed but it caused school cancellations, business cancellations, water main breaks and burst pipes across the state of Ohio.
One local casualty to the sub zero temperatures was the sprinkler system at Mount Gilead High School.
At approximately 6:45 PM Tuesday January 7th, the Mt. Gilead Fire department responded to a fire alarm at the High School. Upon search of the building it was discovered that the sprinkler system pipes located in the girl’s locker room had burst due to the frigid temperatures resulting in some minor damage to the ceiling and some electronic equipment located in an office. The water traveled to the boy’s locker room however, janitorial staff quickly responded to clean up the mess minimizing the damage.
Mount Gilead Superintendent Jeff Thompson surveyed the damage and stated that the incident was not cause to cancel classes for students on Wed. “The first thing is to ensure that it is safe for the students to return. Once we determine that it was safe, then we look at obtaining estimates for repairs.” Said Thompson. An estimate will be available at a later date.
Northmor schools also had an issue with the sprinkler system. Northmor Superintendent Brent Winand shared that in then the wee hours of the morning, approximately 2:45 a.m. on January 8th they had a water line freeze and break resulting in the sprinkler system being triggered in one of the teacher work areas of the school. “Fortunately Maintenance Supervisor Chuck Morris was already in the parking lot plowing snow when the warning alarm went off. Chuck was able to quickly turn the water off before too much damage occurred. Other than a lot of water to clean up there was no permanent damage. School was held that day, January 8th, with a two hour delay” said Winand.
Also affected by the cold in the Mount Gilead School District was a supply line to an upstairs sink at the Tomorrow Center and a water line leak at the Cherry Street building. Once again, quick action by the janitorial staff minimized the possible damages.
Mr. Thompson shared that the district avoided issues with the diesel lines in the school buses. There were no problems getting the buses to start when classes resumed on Wednesday January eighth. “We have a great transportation department with transportation supervisor Brenda Legros and Head Mechanic Randy Wright. “Randy started each bus and let them run for a while on Monday and Tuesday to ensure that the diesel lines did not gel.” Mount Gilead did not experience any bus related issues when they returned to school on Wednesday.
“We are pleased and happy to be back.” Said Thompson.
Highland Schools escaped the water line issue but was not as fortunate with the buses. Superintendent Bill Dodds shared,
“Our big problem was with the buses. It is so difficult to keep them going in cold weather, but our drivers, supervisor Loretta Copeland, and our mechanic, Ralph Igo worked extremely hard to protect the buses and to repair the eight that succumbed to the weather so that we could get kids here safely and on time.