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Lights out doesn’t mean school’s out

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Lights out doesn’t mean school’s out

A PG&E worker carries piping across Union Road Tuesday where a fallen tree brought power lines and a utility pole crashing to the ground shortly after 6 a.m.

GLENN KAHL/


POSTED April 23, 2014 1:21 a.m.

It was lights out in East Union High School classrooms Tuesday morning.

Students said they were excited because they thought the outage meant they were getting to go home from school. Principal John Alba soon delivered the bad news; they weren’t going home any time soon.

A large tree on the west side of Union Road – across from the high school – had fallen at about 6 a.m. forcing the closure of the roadway. The tree brought down a utility pole and high power lines that fell on the street causing hazardous driving for early commuters.

Firefighters used their engines to block the roadway and stationed firemen at the cross streets to prevent injury to motorists and to pedestrians alike from coming in contact with what were believed to be live power lines. Traffic was detoured around the incident onto nearby streets.

Alba said enough light was coming into the classrooms from the windows and open doors to allow school to continue even though computers could not boot up unless they were on battery power. 

Students filled the quad at the first brunch period and headed for the cafeteria where staffers had food prepared for them that didn’t have to be refrigerated. The second brunch followed at 10:40 a.m.

A few other students filtered into the school library where a book fair was being held. Staffers in the front office used light from the front windows to do their work. Students commented that the lights being out seemed to change the character of the mood in their classrooms.

Emergency crews were still on site as of 5 p.m. Tuesday working to restore power.

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