Power outage leads to an early relase


Betsy Wait

During the blackout, senior Drew Silverberg tweeted his unfortunate location

What started out as a minor flickering of the lights, within seconds transformed into a school wide blackout Nov. 24.

“It’s the Dark Ages of West High,” sophomore Ritoma Ganguly said.

While left in the dark about the cause of the power outage, students remained calm under the pressure and confusing circumstances.

“My class was in the second floor computer lab when we lost power and the computers went totally dead. At first I thought someone was pulling a prank or something because the lights flickered on and off for a bit, but after a couple of minutes when we knew what was going on it wasn’t really a big deal. We just chilled for an hour which was kinda fun,” junior Rachel Osborne said.

Even though some viewed the situation as a minor disruption, a handful of teachers and students, assumed the worst, and braced themselves for a dangerous situation.

“The first thing I thought about when the lights went out was to make my students feel secure, so I ran and locked the door and practiced everything I learned in the intruder drill. Once the door was secured and I put every piece of furniture in front of it and my students were behind my desk, I felt a bit more calm. I knew it was windy yesterday morning, but because the timing was bad, with Ferguson and all that, you could not help thinking about the danger that could have been involved,” French teacher Nabila Harig said.

Some students even assumed the unexpected power outage was related to the events taking place in Ferguson.

“At first I thought there was a shooting or something going on, but once Dr. Mitchell said it was just a power outage I started to feel better,” freshman Sophie Vietor said.

However, in reality, the power outage was caused by a tree falling on a nearby power line.  In fact, 1,080 residents were without power in the Ballwin area.

“We learned from Ameren UE at around 11 o’clock that it would be a prolonged window of time without power. We didn’t know when the power would return and students weren’t able to have lunch or use restroom facilities in the dark,” Principal Jeremy Mitchell said.

The ultimate result was that school was called off as a half day at 11:10 a.m., for Nov. 24 and all after school activities were canceled.

“I was so happy to go home especially since yesterday counted as a full day of school, so we don’t have to make it up,” freshman Erin Leahy said.

Buses did not leave school for over almost an hour after school ended and the power even came back during the timeframe when students were waiting for their buses.

“My bus was the last bus to come which was a little irritating, but it wasn’t that bad having to wait. I think the busses were late because it was so unexpected for school to be cancelled. I know my bus driver said it took her a while because she had been stationed somewhere else,” sophomore Jenny Chai said.

Overall, despite a few minutes of uncertainty, many viewed the additional half day off as a blessing to be thankful for this holiday season.