Dick Broom

Burst Pipe Floods School

Dick Broom
Linda Homer, parent of a Pemetic Elementary School student, helps clean and dry musical instruments at the school on Monday after a burst pipe flooded part of the school.

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — When custodian Pam Priest arrived at Pemetic Elementary School at 6 a.m. on Dec. 28, she discovered water gushing from a burst sprinkler pipe in the ceiling of the music room.

More than an inch of water covered the floor of the music room, parts of the gymnasium, locker rooms, cafeteria and adjacent halls.

The custodial staff turned off the water, and maintenance supervisor Richard Norwood called Penobscot Cleaning Service to help with mop-up and damage control.

A section of the gym floor was removed, and hoses were attached to vacuums and fans were inserted beneath the floor to draw out the water.

“There is a layer of plastic sheeting underneath the gym floor that serves as a vapor barrier to keep moisture from coming up, but now it’s holding the water in,” said Charles Lanpher of Penobscot Cleaning two days after the flooding

It was thought at first that the entire gym floor might have to be replaced, but school superintendent Rob Liebow said Tuesday he hopes that is not the case.

Several wooden musical instruments and many more instrument cases that were being stored in the music room were ruined, as were some books and sheet music. All of the instruments and cases were initially moved to the gym stage. On Monday, music teacher Ed Michaud, with help from a few other faculty members, students, former students and parents, moved the instruments to an empty second-floor classroom.

Officials suspect the pipe froze and broke and then began leaking once the weather warmed up.

For more of the latest news, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander.

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]