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Fire crews respond to overnight flooding at WHS

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news Woodbury, 55125
Woodbury Bulletin
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Woodbury Minnesota 8420 City Centre Drive 55125

Woodbury firefighters were busy removing water from Woodbury High School for nearly two hours early Wednesday after a sprinkler head there broke.

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John Wallgren, a commander for the Woodbury Fire Department, said crews were called at about 12:45 a.m. for a fire alarm.

Firefighters arrived to find water spilling out of the activities center door at WHS.

“It was a pretty significant amount of water,” Wallgren said, adding that about 2 inches of water greeted firefighters.

A WHS staffer arrived about 20 minutes later and assisted crews in shutting off the water, Wallgren said. Firefighters remained on scene for about one hour and 45 minutes to help clear out the water with squeegees, he said.

No major damage was reported, though Wallgren said water did breach the school’s activity center.

He said the broken sprinkler head was in a vestibule at the activities entrance and that it likely froze and then popped while thawing.

Wallgren said such calls are common during the coldest days of winter.

“We see it all the time,” he said, noting that Woodbury crews have responded to five or six water-flow calls in the past month.

South Washington County School District spokeswoman Barb Brown said damage was limited to carpet in the school store, which will likely be tiled.

She said the district had salt delivered by 5:15 a.m. to melt the ice created by the water that was pushed out of the building in an effort "to alleviate any issues with people walking into the building at that entrance."

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Mike Longaecker
Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker
(715) 426-1072
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