Two Effingham County schools hit with power outages - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Two schools hit with power outages

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Winds downed power lines Monday morning on Old Dixie Highway, knocking out power at Springfield Elementary School.

But Effingham Elementary School had a power outage for a different reason.

Teachers say keeping the students warm wasn't the challenge. It was the lack of technology.

"It was quite a shock; I was expecting a smooth start," said Susan Hartzog, principal at South Effingham Elementary School.

She smiled, but takes the situation of no power and more importantly - no heat on a cold day very seriously.

"We do have children that have health needs, that may be affected by cooler temperatures," she added.

Hartzog personally checked the school on Saturday and everything was fine. But by Monday morning, a squirrel got into a transformer. That little animal caused a big problem.

The school messenger system notified parents at both schools about the power failures.

"Lots of teachers use the ‘DOJO' behavior management system, where the parent will get an email about behavioral progress. That's gone, and we use smart boards every single day in every single classroom so that's really made it hard for teachers to instruct the way they'd normally be comfortable doing. They've had to think outside the box and make some other plans, which they've done without missing a beat," she said.  

Even the lunch staff had to change the menu on the fly but everyone got their meal: peanut butter and jelly or cheese sandwiches.

While the students enjoyed their impromptu school lunches in the cafeteria, the doors are shut in the Media Center because there's no power. The media specialist tells me that by now there would have been 350 books checked out.

"But miraculously, it's gone much smoother than you would anticipate for a problem like this," Hartzog said.

Hartzog said only one parent at her school opted to pick up her children. Power at Springfield Elementary was out for about three hours. Power at Effingham Elementary was out for about six hours.

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