Sewage floods Helena Intermediate

Published 12:16 pm Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The malfunction of a city sewage station has closed Helena Intermediate School for the remainder of the week.

Cindy Warner, spokesperson for Shelby County School, said a city pumping station located next to the school shut down Tuesday night, causing sewage to back up in the school’s drains and pipes. By Wednesday morning the sewage flooded 60,000 square feet of the 160,000 square-foot building, forcing classes to be canceled until at least Oct. 14.

Servpro cleaning was called to restore the school. All sewage had been sucked off the floors by mid-morning Wednesday, but the school will be left empty through the weekend to allow a thorough cleaning and disinfecting, according to Warner.

“We do want to stress that providing a safe environment is our number one concern and we’ve brought in a team of experts (to clean up the school),” Warner said. “We will be relying on them to tell us that it is completely safe and clean. We won’t return until we know that it is safe.”

Warner said the school system looked at the possibility of relocating classes to another location for Thursday and Friday, but determined it would be too hard to do, because “we’re pretty full.”

At this time, the school system is talking with the state to see if the three days of classes that will be missed will need to be made up. Parents will be notified when that decision is made, Warner said.

Shelby County schools are closed Monday, Oct. 13 for Columbus Day.