Cavell Primary to close on Wednesday after sudden downpour floods school
18:14 24 June 2014
Flooding has forced a Norwich primary school to close tomorrow because of fears about its electricity system.
Classrooms in Cavell Primary School, in Duckett Close, suffered flooding after a sudden heavy rain shower at about 3pm today.
Staff are using vacuum cleaners to try to remove water from the floor after it poured over the gutters and down the walls into classrooms, covering carpets and damaging books.
A message posted on the school’s website said: “The school was flooded quite badly at home time today, with water coming through light fittings and sockets.
“Every classroom apart from the mobile has been affected. I have carried out a full risk assessment of the site and until a qualified electrician can certify the building safe, I have decided to close the school to children.”
Executive head Simon Wakeman said the school has flooded before, and staff know from experience where it tends to start, and so were able to check on the meeting room where it usually starts, and soon realised it was going to happen again.
Mr Wakeman said: “It just happened very quickly and you can’t do anything about it.”
He said the latest inundation happened just as children were about to leave for the day, and staff got out bucket and mops to deal with the problem.
He said: “Until we have an electrical check I can’t let children back into the building, because I don’t know what damage it has done, long term or short term.
“We are disappointed, but I can’t take that risk.”
He said the last flooding happened after the school closed for the day a few weeks ago, and because it was less serious, and electricians were able to come quickly, the school was able to open the following day.
The school will be closed on Wednesday, while staff from Norfolk County Council check the building and the electrics are tested. The school was already due to be shut on Thursday for the Royal Norfolk Show.
The flooding followed a heavy downpour yesterday, which Mr Wakeman said may have overwhelmed the school’s drainage system.
He said that despite previous flooding, the reasons for the repeated problem were not known.
He added: “It’s that huge amount of rain falling in one go. Because of the vastness of our roof area, there is less opportunity for the water to disperse when it comes down that quickly.”
The school has posted videos of the flooding on its website, and notified parents about the closure through Facebook and phone calls.
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