Water Outages Force Montgomery Schools to Close Early

By William Branigin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 23, 2008; 4:58 PM

All Montgomery County public schools closed 2 1/2 hours early today because of widespread water outages following a massive water main break along River Road, school officials announced.

Athletic activities for the afternoon and evening were also canceled, although an announcement posted on the schools' Web site this afternoon said that community activities in schools would take place in most facilities. Activities were canceled at 13 schools listed on the announcement because of low water pressure.

"All day care will remain open except at schools where there is no water in the building," the Web site message said. "Those day care providers will contact parents directly to inform them if they are closed."

It said the water main break "has caused widespread water outages in schools across the lower part of the county," affecting the availability of water and heat in numerous schools.

The rupture flooded River Road with four feet of swiftly flowing water this morning, trapping motorists, blocking a major commuter artery and leading to the dramatic helicopter rescue of a woman and a child from one of the vehicles.

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