LUMBERTON — Students at Lumberton Junior High were probably happy to go home early on Wednesday, but residents on Marion Road who were without water for several hours likely had a different opinion of a broken valve on a water line.
According to Rob Armstrong, director of Public Works for Lumberton, the problem occurred when a crew with the Public Schools of Robeson County attempted to cut off water from a water line on Crandlemire Road to do maintenance work.
“School staff closed the valve to do work on the campus,” Armstrong said. “But when they tried to open it back up, they did something wrong and broke the valve. At that point, we couldn’t get it back up so the only thing we knew to do was to replace it.”
Ronnie Campbell, a maintenance worker for the school system, said the problem started when he tried to turn the water back on after cutting it off.
“I turned off the valve, the gate went down. I turned it back on, the gate wouldn’t rise back up,” Campbell said.
Armstrong said maintenance crew turned off water at about noon and the water flow was not restored until about 3:30 p.m.
“We didn’t have any choice but to cut water off on Marion Road,” he said. “From N.C. 41 all the way back towards Starlight Drive, including First Baptist Church on Marion Road, and some of the residents there (were affected).”
According to Erica McComb, the principal at Lumberton Junior High School, an emergency phone message was sent to parents and students were released from school at 1 p.m.
Armstrong said the break in the water line affected the water supply to the school.
“It slowed pressure down to the facility and they didn’t have pressure to work with,” he said.
No other schools were affected.