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Water Main Break Prompts Closure Of San Mateo School

SAN MATEO (CBS SF) – A water main that broke in San Mateo Thursday morning led to traffic congestion, flooding and the closure of two schools, according to police.

Firefighters responded to a report of a broken water main near El Camino Real and Notre Dame Avenue around 6:40 a.m.

The 24-inch water transmission line has been shut off by California Water Service, the utility that owns and manages the pipe. Water quality is not affected and service has not been interrupted, according to police.

While it was broken, the water main was losing approximately 3,000 gallons per minute.

Staff at St. Matthew Catholic School, located at 910 S. El Camino Real, confirmed that the campus was closed for the day as a result of the broken water main. The water has caused significant damage in the school gym.

“It was a pretty significant amount of water that was flowing throughout the pavilion here and into the gymnasium,” said St. Matthew Director of Student Affairs Beckie Caldwell. “There was significant flooding to our gymnasium, our church and a storage area. And one of our kindergarten classes experienced significant flooding as well.”

St. Matthew’s church and Aragon High School were also closed. School officials plan to reopen Friday morning if possible.

Additionally, four homes in the area were flooded and sustained damage.

“I saw a foot of water. It was just waves. And I was like, ‘What is going on?'”said resident Sean Dougherty. “I rushed over to the door that goes downstairs and my basement was just flooded with water.”

People were advised by police to avoid El Camino Real between Fifth and Ninth avenues due to traffic impacts while crews repair the pipe. Officials will be investigating the cause of the water main break.

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