Power Outage Disrupts School

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A power outage caused by high winds and affecting the high school’s front hallways disrupted the start of school Oct. 15.

Hallway lights in affected areas were dark and clocks were all stopped at 1:55. Teachers were overheard saying computers and copy machines were not functioning before first period. Principal Michael Griffith was seen moving quickly through the 250 hallways with security personnel and appeared flustered as they addressed concerns that students may be frightened.

Griffith made an announcement at 8:07 a.m. sounding winded. He explained that the front of the building’s first and second floors “have issues with lighting.” He added that the building overall was “85-95 percent up.”

Griffith explained that the building’s backup generators would be employed but that the switch would require all power except emergency lighting to be shut down for 5-10 minutes.

At 8:12 a.m. the power was shut off throughout the school to allow a switch to generator power.

Freshman Taylor McCory said,’’ It surprised me but it was funny,” freshman Taylor McCory said. “I was hoping that I could go home and I’m still hoping I go home.”

In his announcement, Griffith said CEI was troubleshooting the problem and that the process would require 1-2 hours before power would be restored. “We will see where that goes,” he said, adding that houses in the area were without power due to high winds overnight.

Griffith then instructed all faculty members to shut down computers and technology to limit power draw once generators were active. He said school would proceed without bells.

Students sat in their first-period classrooms restlessly for two periods. However, for band students, it wasn’t such an easy morning. Because they had been outside throughout first period, they were instructed to stay there until further notice. They weren’t let back into the building until the end of second period.

At 9:39 a.m. power was restored through a second generator brought to the high school. Students proceeded to third period at 9:54 a.m. Use of computers and copy machines was restricted throughout the day. At 3:40 p.m., Griffith announced via PA that the building would return to full power at 4 p.m.

Senior Chante Haggins didn’t find humor in the blackout.

“I was scared,” said Haggins, “I ran out of the lounge because I don’t like the dark.”

 

Sasha Rae-Grant, Sarah-Jane Lorenzo, Amani Hill, Ronda Dennis, Will McKnight, Rae Conlon, Mariel Lustig, and Alexandra Harris contributed to this story.

 

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