Broken water main floods part of Columbia River High School


Crews were able to shut off the water quickly and damage was minimal to the school

HAZEL DELL — Columbia River High School along NE 99th Street suffered minor damage overnight after a water main break flooded the parking lot.

Water from a broken water main flooded part of a gym at Columbia River High School overnight. Photo courtesy Clark County Fire District 6
Water from a broken water main flooded part of a gym at Columbia River High School overnight. Photo courtesy Clark County Fire District 6

Clark County Fire District 6 responded to the school shortly after midnight to find thousands of gallons of water pouring out of an embankment in the southwest corner of the parking lot.

The eight inch main is estimated to carry 1,600 gallons of water a minute.

Fire crews were able to quickly locate both valves to the looped system, shutting off the massive flow of water.

Clark Public Utilities crews work to repair a broken water main near Columbia River High School on Friday. Photo by Mike Schultz
Clark Public Utilities crews work to repair a broken water main near Columbia River High School on Friday. Photo by Mike Schultz

Pat Nuzzo, a spokesperson with Vancouver Public Schools, says water did get into the school’s small gym but was cleaned up this morning. Groundwater that seeped into part of the building’s basement was also being pumped out, and some landscaping will need to be replaced.

Clark County Public Utilities crews were on scene this morning repairing the main. Mud that had been washed into the parking lot was being cleaned up.

Water flooded part of the small gym at Columbia River High School in Hazel Dell overnight after a water main broke. Photo by Mike Schultz
Water flooded part of the small gym at Columbia River High School in Hazel Dell overnight after a water main broke. Photo by Mike Schultz

Nuzzo says crews had been working in the area where the main broke on Thursday, though it was not known if that work led to the break.

Fire District 6 noted in a release that this is the second main break in roughly the same area near 99th Street and Columbia River High School.

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It is also the second major water main break for the Vancouver area this month.

Sandbags were used to prevent water from a main break near Columbia River High School from getting into a nearby storm drain. Photo by Mike Schultz
Sandbags were used to prevent water from a main break near Columbia River High School from getting into a nearby storm drain. Photo by Mike Schultz

On Oct. 3 a contractor working on a new school building near East Mill Plain and Fort Vancouver Way ruptured an 18-inch main, sending an estimated 1.4 million gallons of water flooding into the Fort Vancouver Regional Library headquarters. The building and its contents suffered thousands of dollars in damage.

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About The Author

Chris Brown comes to Clark County Today with 15 years of local news experience as a reporter, editor, and anchor at KXL News Radio and KOIN-6 TV in Portland. In 2016, he won an Oregon Association of Broadcaster's award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on America's Violent Youth. He has also been awarded by the Associated Press for Best Breaking News coverage as editor of Portland's Morning News following the 2015 school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The second oldest of eight home-schooled children, Brown graduated from high school two years early. After several odd jobs, he earned an internship at KXL Radio, eventually working his way into a full-time job. Brown has lived in Clark County his entire life, and is very excited at the opportunity to now focus full-time on the significant stories happening in his own back yard, rather than across “the river.’’ After a few years in Vancouver, he recently moved back to Battle Ground with his wife and two young daughters. When he's not working to report what's happening in Clark County, Brown enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, taking pictures, or working in the yard. He also actually does enjoy long walks on the beach, and sunsets.

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