An errant basketball snapped a sprinkler head in a gym at Elkhorn South High School on Wednesday, spilling thousands of gallons of water onto the floor.
Omaha firefighters were among a crew that included maintenance workers, students, teachers and secretaries who pitched in to clean up the mess, said Principal Mark Kalvoda.
“It was a true team effort,” he said.
Kalvoda said he especially appreciated that the firefighters took the time to lend a hand. He said the quick work by them and others will hopefully reduce the extent of any damage to the floor. The water was cleaned up within 30 minutes, using squeegees, mops and brooms.
A flooring specialist was scheduled to examine the gym Thursday.
Scott Fitzpatrick, a battalion chief with the Omaha Fire Department, said that whenever a sprinkler system goes off at a building or business it triggers a fire alarm. That’s why Omaha firefighters responded, he said.
“We were happy to help in any way we can,” he said.
Kalvoda said the sprinkler head snapped during a gym class at about 10 a.m. Wednesday when it was accidentally hit by a basketball.
The water spill occurred in the school’s auxiliary gym, not the main one used by varsity teams. Teams that play and practice in the auxiliary gym will temporarily use the main one, he said.
A video of water spilling from the broken sprinkler has drawn heavy attention on social media. The water has a dark color because of sediment that builds up in sprinkler systems, Kalvoda said, adding that the water in this case was particularly dark because it was coming from just one sprinkler head.