WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Inside St. Kevin School off of Sandy Lane in Warwick, fans are spread out to dry the walls, floors and soggy ceilings damaged by a flood over the Thanksgiving weekend.
As contractors work to clean up and repair the flood damage, the Catholic school’s 245 students will get an extra week off.
The cause of the flood was a burst water pipe in a bathroom on the second floor, according to St. Kevin church pastor Father Robert Marciano. He discovered the flooding after spotting water damage on the outside of the school while driving by on Saturday.
“I opened the library door and the water was coming through the ceiling,” Marciano said in an interview Monday. “So I went upstairs to take a look at it was a pipe in the girls’ bathroom that had burst.”
Marciano says it was fortunate it wasn’t a school day since the cascading water was very hot.
“Just flowing down like a waterfall through the ceiling,” he remarked. “All the downstairs corridors were flooded.
The fire department shut down the water to the school and the furnace. Marciano said plumbers determined the pipe burst due to age.
Coincidentally, Marciano had just offered the use of his other church, St. Benedict’s on Beach Ave, to the Woodbury Union congregation after their church burned down last week. Hours later, he was the one dealing with a damaged building.
“We’re a very strong community, so we’ll get through this one step at a time,” administrative assistant Joanne McGrath said.
School Principal David Irving says more than 20 classrooms were damaged. But some parts of the school stayed dry.
“All our pictures of priests…they were all intact,” Irving said. And somehow, the school’s chapel was also spared.
“We have divine insurance,” Marciano said. “So we’re hoping that the guy upstairs took a look and said ‘leave that room alone.’”