Wednesday’s Disaster


Lalia Williams

If you had asked me last week what I would have been doing this Wednesday, I probably would have said wake up, go to school, go to swim practice, and go home. Oh, how wrong I was.

The day went as planned up to seventh period. Personally, I had a study hall at that time, and was expecting to catch up on some english work. Everything was normal until about halfway through the period, when the lights in the A-building went out (as informed to us by someone coming back from the bathroom). From what we heard, we thought it was just a temporary outage in a few areas of the building, probably due to the high winds outside. But then the lights in our room went out as well.

At that point, a lot of us were wondering “what is going on?!”. Our study hall monitor locked the door, so many of us thought that perhaps there was an intruder of some kind that had  the power. Adding to the chaos was the fact that, every few seconds, there would be an attempted loudspeaker announcement that would immediately cut out.

We were told that there was a “city-wide power outage”, which was a bit confusing as we could see the stoplights outside were working. Eventually they also managed to get out “STAY IN 7TH PERIOD”.

So we planned to do just that, but then the fire alarmed started going off. Considering both the fact that only the lights (not the auditory alarms) were going off, as well as the fact that minutes before we were told to stay put, our class hesitated in leaving. Luckily, we were on the third floor, so we could see everyone else pouring out of the building below.

Once we got out of the building, there was still no clear sign of what was happening. Though the building seemed to be in no great peril, as we stood there several firetrucks and other emergency vehicles pulled into the driveway.

It was not pleasant standing out there in cold temperatures (many having left their coats and other valuables inside) for (at least) twenty minutes. But we were equally confused when ushered back into the dark (and vaguely smoking) building. However, spirits again rose when, after most of us had made it back into their 7th period classroom, we were given permission to leave.

The only problem with this was that nobody seemed to know what had happened.’

The actual problem was that the school did suffer a brief power outage, but that wasn’t the main cause of the dismissal. One of the pool generators could not take the power surge when the lights came back on, and started smoking excessively. That is why there was smoke, and why the fire alarms went off.

It was certainly an interesting day, but perhaps preventable. Though the school generat