It was deja vu for Mike Sebastian when he got a call just before lunch on Tuesday, telling him to pick up his son because the daycare is flooded.
"We got the same call four months ago that there was a water main break and the school was going to be closed. Here we are again today," said Sebastian.
The Cornerstone Center for Early Learning had to be evacuated and shut down after a water main break sent water gushing into the basement and first floor of the center. Water restoration crews scrambled to vacuum three feet of water pooled in a basement classroom.
July 20th, another spot in the same water main broke and flooded the daycare center. Jerry Ehrlich, the executive director, said that the damage totaled around $70,000. Insurance and donations paid most of the bill for the non-profit center, which provides low-cost daycare to working families. The city, at the time, said it would not help pay for damages.
This time, the city offered a similar response.
"Many of the City's water mains are old, but still functional. The cost of replacing all of them would be prohibitive to all water customers," said Kara Bowlin, press secretary to the mayor.
"The Water Division is currently investigating to determine what caused this particular main break. So far, they know that the most current break is at a slightly different part of the main than a previous break. Water main breaks are unforeseeable accidents. The City does not typically provide restitution in such cases."
The news was frustrating for Ehrlich.
"I'm sure there will be discussions. I would hope, I would hope that the city understands what has happened and after discussion realizes that we share some responsibility," said Ehrlich.
The daycare expects to be closed through at least Monday. Parents of around 145 kids will have to find other childcare until the daycare center can renovate.
Ehrlich added that many toys and books were damaged in the second round of flooding. He is asking for donations. They can be made at 3901 Russell Blvd. in St. Louis.