St. Martin students bused to another campus on day 2 of power outage

St. Martin students bused to another campus on day 2 of power outage
Crews expected to have power restored Friday morning, but realized the transformer was bad. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Crews expected to have power restored Friday morning, but realized the transformer was bad. (Photo source: WLOX News)

ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) - A second day with no electricity forced St. Martin Middle School to transport students and staff to another campus on Friday.

The 28-hour power outage caught a lot of parents off guard. For the second day in a row, many showed up to check out their children.

"I was off work today from the hospital and I decided I would come and rescue him today," said Peggy Cole, a St. Martin grandmother.

About 800 students spent Friday morning waiting in the high school gym while Singing River Electric crews tried to troubleshoot a campus-wide power outage.

Many parents thought the problem had been fixed.

"...a message had been sent saying it would be restored, so we were surprised," said Tiffany Cook.

The power outage started Thursday morning when lighting from a powerful storm struck a main underground power line right as classes were about to begin. Crews worked all day and overnight trying to repair the damage, expecting to have power restored by the time school started Friday morning.

"They got the power lines re-ran, and this morning at around 7 - 7:10 they tried it. At that time, the transformer, they found out it was not any good. We did not know that ahead of time," said St. Martin Assistant Superintendent Dr. Michael Van Winkle.

Many parents decided to take their children home.

"She said they were bored, not doing anything...." said Brian Cook, who checked out his daughter.

By 11 a.m., the lights came back on and the air conditioning system cranked up again.

"It takes a while for it to work, to make sure it's back up," said Van Winkle.

Buses brought the students back to the middle school, and everyone seemed relieved after two hectic, exhausting days.

Van Winkle says state testing had to be postponed once again. Since school was in session Thursday and Friday, they will not have to make up those days.

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