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Underground line problems cut power to 7 schools

September 28, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Power was cut to seven public schools in Washington County on Monday in two unrelated problems involving underground power lines, according to school and Allegheny Power officials.

At 10 p.m. Monday, Boonsboro High School and Clear Spring High School remained without power.

Washington County Public Schools spokesman Richard Wright said Monday night that officials learned the outage at Clear Spring High required a more complicated repair than previously thought.

Wright said he was hopeful that a normal schedule would resume Tuesday at Clear Spring High. But if the repair is not made in time for the start of classes, school officials will notify parents and the media about how the issue will be handled, Wright said.

Wright said Monday night he had no reason to believe the repair at Boonsboro High School would not be completed overnight.

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The other five schools are expected to have a normal schedule today, Wright said.

An underground power line problem cut power to Clear Spring Elementary, Middle and High schools, and the Claud Kitchens Outdoor School at Fairview, which is in the Clear Spring area, Wright said.

Allegheny Power was notified of that problem at 10:20 a.m., a company spokesman said.

At 11 a.m., another power line problem interrupted electric service to Boonsboro Elementary, Middle and High schools, Wright said.

Allegheny Power spokesman Jeff Straight said the utility was not told about any power outages in Boonsboro, so he assumed that problem might not have involved an Allegheny Power line.

Classes at Clear Spring High and Middle schools were dismissed Monday at 1 p.m., but classes continued at Clear Spring Elementary because there was enough natural light, Wright said.

Power was restored to Clear Spring Elementary and Middle schools later Monday, Wright said.

Power also was restored Monday to the Claud Kitchens Outdoor School and the electricity there had not been off long enough to cause problems, Wright said.

School officials continued holding classes at the three affected Boonsboro schools Monday because there was enough natural light, Wright said. Power was restored later in the day to Boonsboro Elementary and Middle schools, Wright said.

Any extracurricular activities that were scheduled for Monday were canceled at all the affected Boonsboro and Clear Spring schools, Wright said.

Although the outages were reported within 40 minutes of each other, they were unrelated, Wright said.

"It's an ironic day," Wright said.

The power interruption at the Boonsboro schools was the second one to affect them in a little more than a week.

On Sept. 17, a short in a power line cut electricity to the middle school and affected all three schools, Wright said at the time.

Classes at the three schools were canceled that day because of the outage.

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