Examining Grandview’s Thursday Flood


Photo Courtesy of: Maggie Spears

February 3rd, 2022. 

A day that the people of Grandview will not soon forget. Students and staff were pulled away from their regular B-day routines and evacuated from the school, while water gushed from a burst pipe into the lower 200s. 

“I was in my Psychology class, and then the fire alarm starts going off,” said senior Maggie Spears. “Then I’m walking out where we usually go out for fire drills and I just [heard] water running.”

According to Building Manager Bruce Adams, the pipe burst due to a structural deficiency near the 200s bridge. 

“Eventually, we found out that on that bridge, there are two voids that are letting that cold air in. All that minus six degree temperature [caused] the pipe [to] just burst,” said Adams. “If it wouldn’t have been for those air gaps in there, it probably would have never happened.”

Mr. Adams and his staff have already begun to fix the problem. 

“Last week we got up there and just stuffed insulation up there to keep it from getting too cold. And we’ve also left some ceiling tiles out just to get some heat up there,” said Adams.

The cleaning crew has already gotten the smell out, which, according to Mr. Adams, was not due to sewage. 

“It’s domestic water, but because it’s not drinkable water, when they fit the pipes in it, they’re just cast-iron pipes. And to cut the threads, they use oil. And because nobody’s ever gonna drink it, they don’t clean the pipes out. It’s just, there’s oil in those pipes,” said Mr. Adams. “And it just sits there. So, as you’re looking at it, it’s like black water. And it’s disgusting, and it stinks, but what you’re smelling is the oil.” 

“Oh, it reeked. It smelled quite bad,” said Spears. “Like sewer water; It was disgusting.”

The water was rushing from the pipe at an astronomical rate. 350 gallons a minute, according to Mr. Adams.

“Imagine if it happened at night and nobody was here. That much water, That fast?” said Principal Dr. Roberts.

Now, all of the admin, deans, and security in the building know how to shut off the water, in the event that another highly improbable burst occurs. 

“Its happened district-wide a handful of times, we’re talking 83 buildings and probably less than 10 times,” said Adams. “So it’s not a common occurrence by any means.” 

“For this to be the only time this has happened in 24 years, you can tell it’s a freak thing,” said Dr. Roberts.