Water supply issues force closure of several Raleigh County Schools

Several Raleigh County Schools were closed Tuesday, Sept. 6, due to water supply issues
Several Raleigh County Schools were closed Tuesday, Sept. 6, due to water supply issues(WVVA)
Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 4:18 PM EDT
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RALEIGH COUNTY, W.Va. (WVVA) - Roughly 1,500 Raleigh County students had an extended Labor Day break due to water issues.

Low pressure and discolored water led nearly half a dozen schools in the western portion of the county to close their doors Tuesday. Students and staff were notified on Monday. Teachers were still required to report on Tuesday on a delayed schedule.

Superintendent of Raleigh County Schools David Price says, while this issue isn’t unheard of, it’s rare to see it be so widespread.

“You know, it’s tough when you have to close the school due to utilities or whatever, but things like that happen. They’re going to occur, and we know that. It’s not something that’s unusual. The circumstance that it affected so many schools at once is unusual...”

Price says the issues stem from the water company but that they have a far-reaching impact on public education.

“It’s not a school problem. It turns into a school program, but it’s not a school problem. When it’s water, it affects our ability to operate a kitchen. It affects our ability to use our restrooms. It affects the fire suppression systems, as far as school safety and everything, and it affects us having school.”

According to the Raleigh County Public Services District (PSD), supply issues have drained the tanks between Glen White and the Border of Raleigh and Boone Counties.

“We have had on and off issues with our water supply,” stated Paul Flanagan, treasurer of the Raleigh County PSD. “Water systems have failures, and, when we fail, we all work together to make it as least offensive to the customers that we can.”

Like the schools, homes and businesses in the area, the PSD receives its water from the Beckley Water Company, which has not answered why these supply issues occurred. Regardless, Flanagan says work is underway to replenish the water supply and that the issue should be remedied by Wednesday.

Those closest to the tanks will be the first to see any signs of a resolution.

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