Center Middle School to be closed Wednesday; SWEPCO Crews unable to get power restored overnight

UPDATED about 5:20 a.m. Wednesday morning


"SWEPCO and others have worked through the night. Unfortunately, power is not yet restored, and problems remain," said Center ISD Superindentent Dr. James Hockenberry in an early morning message. "Therefore, Center Middle School will be closed today, March 6. All other campuses will be open and on a regular schedule. The Center Intermediate School is without phone and internet services as a result of the outage at CMS.

"I again apologize for the inconvenience. All efforts are being made to restore power as quickly and safely as possible," he said.


From Center ISD Supt. Dr. James Hockenberry: "SWEPCO crews have been working all day at Center Middle School to restore power and will continue to work into the night. Our latest update indicates that power will be restored before the start of school tomorrow. Therefore, the school will resume operations as scheduled. If anything changes, notice will be provided immediately. Thank you for your patience and cooperation."

SWEPCO officials reported about 4 p.m. Tuesday that restoring power to Center Middle School is taking longer than expected after an underground conduit collapsed.
They had expected power to be restored on Tuesday afternoon to Center Middle School which was without power since Tuesday morning. SWEPCO now anticipates crews will have power restored at between 9-10 p.m. tonight with classes expected to resume on Wednesday.

A power outage Tuesday morning resulting in the closing of Center Middle School was originally expected to be fixed by mid-afternoon Tuesday, according to SWEPCO spokeswoman Karen Wissing.

"We have crews on site and they're expected to have power restored to the school within a couple of hours," she said about 1:45 p.m. Tuesday. The outage was caused with issues on an underground transmission line leading to the campus.

Center ISD ron Tuesday morning reported SWEPCO was currently working to resolve an electric outage affecting the district's Center Middle School campus only, according to a statement released by Superintendent Dr. James Hockenberry.

Due to the outage, parents were notified they could start picking up their students early beginning at 10 a.m., he said.

For students remaining at school, meals will be served on schedule and students will be cared for during the day until buses run at their regular time.

The power outage has also affected phone lines and there is no communication into or out of the school except through cell phone service.

Hockenberry said an update on the situation will be issued as soon as it is available. The outage came on one of the coldest days of winter with forecasters not expecting day time temperatures to get above the mid-40-degree range.