Three Stokes Co. schools dismiss early due to water main break in Walnut Cove

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STOKES COUNTY, N.C. -- Three schools dismissed early Wednesday after the second water main break this week in Stokes County.

London Elementary, Walnut Cove Elementary and Southeastern Middle school dismissed at 9:15 a.m. due to no water.

The same three schools were on a delay Tuesday morning after the first water main break overnight.

Interim town manager Marty Stevens said because of the size of the water main break Monday they thought it would create other problems. The second break was about a block from the first near Main and Summit Streets.

Stevens said the town is hoping to upgrade the water system to isolate problems and keep the entire town of about 1,500 from going without water when pipes break.

“When we get these isolation valves in then we can cut off certain parts of the town rather than cut the entire town off,” said Stevens.

Stevens said crews couldn’t explain what caused the initial leak. When they removed the 8-inch plastic pipe they found it had a long crack that was several feet long.

“It was a surprise that it broke because it was only about 10 years old,” said Stevens.

Stevens said there are other parts of the water system that are close to 50 years old.

He said the system is too unpredictable to say for sure that they’ll be able to avoid any further problems this week but work crews feel confident that the problem responsible for the two leaks since Monday night are fixed.

Stevens said the town can only respond to issues when they arise.

“It’s certainly an inconvenience,” said Stevens. “When things like that happen we try and get the system back up as quickly as possible so we can get back to normal everyday living get these businesses back to operating.”

The three schools that dismissed early did so because they weren’t able to prepare lunch or allow kids to use the bathroom, according to the Stokes County Schools Superintendent.

School is set open as normal tomorrow.