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Trahan Students Evacuated Following Water Main Break Inside School

Jan 15, 2015 04:04PM ● By Bill Gilman

The water in the boiler room at Trahan School was down to about 18 inches, after having reached a crest of four feet due to the water main break.

Students at the Trahan Elementary School on Salem Street were evacuated Thursday after a water main broke in the basement of the building, flooding the boiler room with several feet of water.
According to Peter Thuillier, head of maintenance for Trahan School, the rupture took place just inside the basement wall, in piping that came into the school from the street.
"The pipe broke just inside the school in a section of the basement right under the cafeteria," said Thuillier. "It happened around 11:20 a.m. , about 10 minutes before the start of lunch."
School officials were alerted to the potential of a rupture due to a significant drop in water pressure. An investigation found water pouring from the upper section of the basement, down a small set of stairs and into the boiler room.
"It was like a river going down these stairs," said Thuillier. "There was about four feet of water in the boiler room at one point."
The Trahan students had lunch at the school, though each lunch session was reduced by five minutes. After that, the students were transported by bus to the Heath Brook School on Shawsheen Street, where they remained through the end of the school day. They went home on their normal school buses, which serve both schools.
A "Reverse 911" call was made to parents, alerting them to the problem and letting them know their children had been moved. Trahan Principal Matt  Castonguay also sent the following e-mail to school parents:
"Good Afternoon, There has been a water main break here at our school. This is not an emergency. For safety precautions, we are evacuating our students to the Heath Brook School for the remainder of the school day. Students who regularly take a bus home will take the bus directly home from the Heath Brook School, as usual. Students who get picked up by a parent will need to be dismissed from Heath Brook School at the normal dismissal time of 3pm. Students who are in extended day will remain at the Heath Brook School and will need to be picked up there by 6pm, as usual. Please call the Heath Brook School if you have any questions. Thank you, Mr. Castonguay"
Exact estimates on the cost of the repairs were not immediately available. Thuillier said ServePro was brought in to aid in the cleanup. He said as long as the water has been cleaned up and the boilers are functional, the school should be suitable for school on Friday. 
Cleanup work was expected to continue late into the evening.


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