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Valley News Dispatch

Valley High School students dismissed early because of rising Little Pucketa Creek

Madasyn Czebiniak
| Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, 11:06 a.m.

Students at Valley Junior/Senior High School in New Kensington were dismissed early Monday as a precaution because ongoing steady rain caused Little Pucketa Creek to rise in front of the school.

“It’s at its peak right now,” Superintendent John Pallone said. “It’s probably the highest it’s been in the last 10 years.”

The district sent out an e-mail notice alerting people of the early dismissal shortly after 10:15 a.m. Monday. It said the bus company had been notified, and the district was looking to have all students dismissed as close to 10:30 a.m. as possible.

Pallone said the district decided to dismiss students and staff early in the event the creek should overflow.

Students and staff were dismissed by 11:30 a.m. at the latest and all athletic events were canceled.

“There was no imminent harm or fear. We took a prophylactic approach to ensure that in case the banks of the creek were in fact breached that we were already ahead of the game,” Pallone said.

A flood control basin was added years ago.

“Since that project, the creek has been pretty much controllable, and we haven’t had to dismiss early … or cancel school because of the creek rising,” Pallone said.

“But with the rain that we’ve had these last couple of days, the water level of the creek is at its banks now,” Pallone said. “Once it starts creeping into the parking lot it creates a safety hazard. We erred on the side of caution and dismissed and closed the campus for (Monday).”

Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, mczebiniak@tribweb.com, or via Twitter @maddyczebstrib.

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