Power outage closes Colonel middle and high schools

The parking lot at Colonel Richardson High School is empty Thursday, Feb. 7, after the middle and high schools were closed due to a morning power outage.

FEDERALSBURG — Colonel Richardson middle and high schools were forced to close early Thursday, Feb. 7, after an electrical failure.

All Thursday after-school activities and evening events, including a girls’ varsity basketball game at the high school, were also canceled or rescheduled.

Choptank Electric Cooperative resolved the issue Thursday afternoon, and students will return to school Friday.

Caroline County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Patricia Saelens said the partial power outage happened around 7:30 a.m., when students and staff were either on their way or had already arrived for the day.

Saelens said similar outages have happened before, but were resolved quickly by Choptank Electric Cooperative.

This time, however, the issue proved to be harder to fix.

Saelens said parts of the schools were without light, including fully enclosed spaces with no natural light, like bathrooms. The loss of power also affected the cafeteria, making it difficult to serve lunch.

“We had to make a call (to send everyone home) to make sure everyone was in a safe environment,” Saelens said.

Parents were notified about the schools closing via a SchoolMessenger call.

Student drivers and their registered passengers were dismissed at 9:20 a.m.

Buses left at 10 a.m., to give high school students who were off-campus for Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps or classes at the Caroline Career and Technology Center time to return and catch their bus home.

On its Facebook page, Choptank Electric Cooperative said around 10 a.m. it was sectionalizing its underground cable to figure out where the bad connection might be.

Saelens said the hope was to have the issue fully resolved in time to open the schools again Friday, Feb. 8.

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