Downed Wire Causes 45 Minute AHS Blackout

Several classes clumped under emergency lights in the hallways, while others left the building and conducted class outside or in the courtyard after the Avonworth High and Middle School building experienced a power outage on Thursday morning, September 24th. Duquesne Light informed the school of the impending power outage approximately ten minutes beforehand. Mrs. Cheryl Griffith, interim principal, made an announcement about the power outage approximately five minutes before the outage. Many classrooms have few or no windows, and thus relocated.

Students in study hall in the cafe, as well as few classes, headed to the picnic tables outside the main office to continue class or sit under the early fall morning sunshine while Duquesne Light fixed the downed wire

Students in study hall in the cafe, as well as few classes, headed to the picnic tables outside the main office to continue class or sit under the early fall morning sunshine while Duquesne Light fixed the downed wire

 

Students took to social media to express themselves. Many posted quips about the lack of wifi and others about the utter discontent towards the school. Seth Kurela, a Junior, tweeted “smh avonworth can’t even afford to pay the power bill”. Others, such as Junior Gretchen Schmidt, commented on how “[the school] [is] much more quiet when the powers out” through Twitter. Alongside the joking around, there was general atmosphere of excitement and anticipation, as most of the student body wondered if the school day would be cut short.

Duquesne Light, the company that supplies Avonworth with electricity, responded to questions about the brief loss of power. Ashlee Yingling, External Communications for Duquesne Light, said that “a downed wire caused the outage.” The power outage “impacted about 100 customers, including [Avonworth High School].” Proceeding the general power outage, the telephone lines for the district were down, and an email was sent to parents via the Edline system. Although the power was “restored in about an hour”, the outage still heavily impacted the technology driven courses.

Junior Welcome Tjelmeland came across the downed wire while walking to school as Duquesne Light workers assessed the situation.

Junior Welcome Tjelmeland came across the downed wire while walking to school as Duquesne Light workers assessed the situation.

 

The goal of most teachers was to continue work as planned while overcoming the obstacles created by having no light for approximately forty minutes. Mrs. Tullar, IM2 instructor, had scheduled a quiz for today, and simply moved to the hallway to proceed with her lesson plans. She believes that she was “more prepared that [she] usually [is] with the random loss of power that we usually have.” The forewarning provided by Duquesne Light allowed for teachers to plan their classes without power, as well as preemptively stave off any instantaneous chaos caused by panic about random blackouts.

Mrs. Maisner's Honors World Geo class used the lighting from the backup generators to continue with class, as scenes like this appeared throughout the hallways of the high school.

Mrs. Maisner’s Honors World Geo class used the lighting from the backup generators to continue with class, as scenes like this appeared throughout the hallways of the high school.

 

Special thanks to a variety of guest reporters and photographers: Abigail Busse, Evan Kurela, Quinn Theobold, Kimmi Keener, Miriam Kluitenberg, Matt Crilley, Ryan McKinney, Gretchen Schmidt, Emily Paszkiewicz, Christa Chao, Sarah Logan, Colton Lipchak, Jackie Restelli, and Welcome Tjelmeland

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