MASON CITY, Iowa - Some Mason City schools were let out early on Tuesday. Not because of any weather incidents, but because of a water issue underground.
Pools of water were discovered near the Mason City High School early Tuesday morning, and after some digging, the culprit was found: a water main, estimated to have been placed around 1964, that had experienced fatigue due to erosion over the years.
Though access to water would be shut off in areas like bathrooms and kitchens, students at the high school, as well as John Adams Middle School and the Alternative School, which are fed by the main, were sent home a few hours later, as crews worked to patch up the break.
District Facilities Supervisor Todd Huff says he was alerted by the Mason City Water Department, around 5 a.m.
"They have parameters set in their system where if it exceeds that normal flow for that time of day normally, they have an alarm that alerts them."
And he's fortunate that the temperature wasn't much colder that could have delayed repairs.
"It could've been where we couldn't have gone down to the water main quickly. It's thawed out right now, but if we had frozen ground, that's a whole different story. It could've been a much, much longer, agonizing repair for us."
The break has been repaired using a repair band, and classes will resume Wednesday.