BELLE FOURCHE – Crews with Black Hills Energy and Timber Line working to replace an old power line pole outside of Belle Fourche High School accidentally struck a water main at around 9:45 a.m. Monday, which caused water services to be suspended to the school and students to be evacuated.
Rather than risk further damage to water or power lines by digging around the break, Belle Fourche Public Works technicians used a high-pressure water gun to erode the dirt around the pipe and a vacuum tanker to remove the resultant mud from the hole to clear a work space so the broken section of the pipe could be replaced. Public Works Technician Roman Garza said the section of pipe that needed replaced would likely be fixed within a couple of hours; however, a new spot would need to be chosen for the pole.
The school reopened Tuesday morning. There was no water in the school.