Well Drilling Update at Lake Ohana

Isabella Milone, News Editor

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The next update from Superintendent Embray on the well that is being drilled at Lake Ohana.

It is Tuesday and for a lot of us, it felt like Monday.  Things are going as best as they can right now.  The levels in the towers are stable at this point and what we are doing to conserve is working.  Thank you!  All the schools are working hard to make this situation go better.  Shout out to all staff in offices and classrooms who are making summer camp work every day inside our buildings.  Also, a special shout out to our kitchen staff who are washing our food prep dishes by hand AND providing food for over 450-625 students and staff daily per building.  Another shout out to our maintenance and transportation departments for coordinating all the water donations and deliveries.  Last but not least, our custodians for the added plastic and creative cleaning that has to happen now.   You all have my deepest gratitude for staying positive and working through this.  Today’s life lesson is don’t serve oranges when you don’t have water to clean up with.  🙂  We are moving our porta potties at the West to the front of the building for better access and supervision.  All other buildings are making the situation work.  One thing that would help us if parents could reinforce that using the porta pottie is our only resource at the moment.  So when some think it is funny to NOT use the unit’s features and instead urinate inside the unit floor, it makes it a bit unbearable for the next person.  We are all in this together, so whatever support we can get from the home front on this issue would be greatly appreciated.  We are in need of some volunteers that could help us with porta potty supervision.  If you can be of assistance, please let me know at the central office.  Times and building needs vary, but we could use some assistance on this area.

The Free store for our displaced families is continuing at the High School Auxiliary Gym through the foreseeable future.  We will be adjusting the times so more people can make it in.  We are hearing that many do not have storage tor the items they are getting from the store.  We are working on a solution to this problem and will hopefully have an option for those who are wanting it later this week.  I hope to have the new times and options for storage by Thursday.  The YMCA is still open and providing meals.  They also have supplies for families.  If you are in need of something, please stop by.  We have made contact with most of our displaced families, but we are still not able to reach over 16 families totaling 32 students.  If you know of a displaced family, please have them contact Mary Beth at student services at 527-9034 ext. 4328.  We have the ability to get them signed up for free meals at school and possible transportation to school.  If they need transportation to school please contact Nicole at 527-9034 ext. 7001.

The well is looking good.  They hoping to have it complete within the next day or so.  Testing will take place once that happens.  I know I stated earlier that it was two days for testing, but now I am hearing three days.  All things go well, we could have a well online by the end of the week.  They will most likely still be a no contact no consumption order placed.  The tanker truck operation still continues. GMU will be inserting the DNR boil fact sheet and a note advising customers who need bottled water delivered to their homes because they are disabled or homebound to contact the GMU office.  GMU will coordinate with the Chamber to arrange deliveries.

The water plant is within walking distance now.  GMU employees were able to enter the site today.  However, there is still water above the wells and in the facility.  They are partnering with Kiewit and the Corps to pump water out of the south area closed to old HWY34.  This is allowing water to drain under the railroad culvert to dewater the north side of PJ, the DOT building and water plant.  There are over ten pumps pumping right now.  We hear that BNSF is bringing in more.  We are also hearing that the Army Corps of Engineers were on site this past weekend and are ready to assist with the building of a levee around the water treatment plant as soon as possible.  This is good news considering our Missouri River levee is no longer there.  With the expectation of more than 1.5 inches of rain then snow between now and Saturday for our area, this doesn’t look like it will happen until sometime next week or later.

That is all I have for now, please continue to help conserve water until we get the green light from GMU.