Possible lightning strike causes power outage at New Market school

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NEW MARKET, Ala. -- A sudden power outage caused a disruption at New Market School in Madison County Wednesday.

Classrooms were hot and phone lines were down.

"This morning we came in as a regular day and I was making my rounds after breakfast and we noticed some of the rooms were a little warmer than others," said principal Keri Smith.

From there the day didn't exactly get any easier.

"This issue caused this issue, so now we have this issue.," Smith said.  "It was pretty much a domino effect."

More rooms were suddenly without air conditioning. Electricians were called to the school and determined that Huntsville Utilities needed to get involved to resolve the issue. Lights were flickering and the phone lines were also down.

"And they were like, 'it's gonna be hot,' and we were like 'ohhh nooo,'" said 5th grader Sarah Clardy.

Electricians thought they'd identified the problem: a lightning strike from the night before.

"Once they started working they actually blew a transformer," Smith said. "They went to work on another issue and when they went to work on it, another transformer went down."

That's when staff determined they'd let parents know they could come pick up their children and take them home for the day.

"I'm a parent, I worry about my kids. These things happen, hiccups happen, it's great they contacted us immediately," said parent Thomas Badham.

Huntsville Utilities restored power but warned school staff that it would probably still be warm inside for several hours.

The principal said she expects new transformers to be installed by the end of the day to make what will hopefully be a regular school day on Thursday.


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