Downes sewer issue

A sewer backup caused Downes Elementary School to close early on Monday.

Downes Elementary School is closing early due to a sewer backup.

The school dismissed students at 12:15 p.m. Monday. After-school activities were canceled.

A message on the school's website described the problem as "city sewer/drain issues." However, Newark spokeswoman Jayme Gravell said the problem is in the school's private sewer line and is being handled by a private contractor, not Newark Public Works.

Christina School District spokeswoman Alva Mobley said sewage backed up into the school. District maintenance staff is still evaluating the damage and it's not yet clear if the school will be able to reopen Tuesday.

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