Water main break in Nevada City closes Deer Creek, Seven Hills schools | TheUnion.com

Water main break in Nevada City closes Deer Creek, Seven Hills schools

The second week of classes got off to a bumpy start for Deer Creek and Seven Hills schools in Nevada City Monday. The schools were forced to send students home early after a water main broke on Reward Street, near both campuses.

Nevada City School District Superintendent Trisha Dellis said students were released to go home at 11:43 a.m. and that the day will not have to be made up, much like a snow day would be.

"We were informed by Nevada City Public Works that there was a water main break," said Dellis, "and we could have our water service interrupted. We really wanted to get our minutes in so we don't have to make the day up, and we were able to get a little over three hours of instructional time."

An announcement on the Nevada City School District website Monday afternoon stated the water main had been repaired and students will return to class today as scheduled.

"I think (the kids) probably were pleasantly surprised, it's just the second week of school," Dellis said. "It all went really well with no issues to speak of. Somebody described it as 'controlled chaos.'"

Parents were surprised as well by the early dismissal, many left scrambling to keep their children occupied on an unexpected partial day.

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Kelly Stewart, mother of two children who attend Seven Hills, said she was lucky she had the day off work, otherwise she would have had to put her job on hold while arranging for transportation and supervision for her son and daughter with just an hour's notice.

"It was interesting for us," said Stewart. "I saw the phone ringing from the school and I immediately thought my son was in trouble, but it was an automated message saying the kids would be dismissed in an hour."

Stewart said in addition to her own children, she picked up the kids of a close friend for whom she is listed as an emergency contact. The children's mother was unable to leave work in time to meet them.

"Lucky for me I had the day off, and the only reason is that my boss is on vacation," she said. "It was a total fluke I was available."

The cause of the main break was unknown at press time.

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at jnobles@theunion.com or 530-477-4231.