Visitacion Valley school reopens after water main break

September 4, 2012 2:19:23 PM PDT
It was a back to school do-over Tuesday as Our Lady of the Visitacion School in San Francisco reopened after a week-long closure prompted by flooding from a large water main break nearby.

Besides new pavement at the corner outside the school, you wouldn't know there had been a sinkhole, but there is still evidence of flooding inside the buildings. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission says a 42-inch water main break caused the sinkhole. It was part of a newly upgraded system.

"I'm just so glad school is open and I thank the lord and I hope everyone is safe and it's healthy enough for kids to attend school for the day," parent Robvina Parker said.

"We're happy the kids would be back to school now and everything's OK," parent Erlinda Jaochico said. "School looks fine now, yeah, it's great."

A week ago, and just two days into the new school year, disaster struck when a water main broke, causing a massive sinkhole at the corner of Sunnydale Avenue and Cora Street and sending water flooding into the school and convent.

Tuesday, the streets are fixed and so is most of the school. Principal Maxie O'Rourke says the entire school has been re-carpeted and all of the desks have been sanitized. But the gym is another story; it's out of commission indefinitely.

The convent suffered the worst of the damage, displacing four nuns who live there. More than a dozen homes in the area have also been red-tagged.

The cause of the break is still under investigation.


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