SC - Animal leaves Wade Hampton area in the dark : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Animal leaves Wade Hampton area in the dark By Sarah Garibaldi STAFF WRITER

TAYLORS  An adventuresome animal that found its way into an area substation caused a power outage along Wade Hampton Boulevard and the surrounding area Thursday morning.

Tom Shiel, a spokesman for Charlotte-based Duke Power, said power was out from about 9:45 a.m. until to 11 a.m. for 1,800 customers, including residents and businesses.

The power outage shut down traffic lights at the intersections of Wade Hampton Boulevard with Cherokee Drive and East Lee Road, slowing motorists and causing drivers on side streets to sit indefinitely or fight their way onto Wade Hampton.

Two schools, Wade Hampton High School and Stone Academy, which is holding classes in the old Wade Hampton Elementary School building this year, also were without power.

"We froze classes. In other words, we didn't let anybody move," said Jim Whitson, Wade Hampton's principal.

One of the high school's academic buildings and its office continued to have light, he said, and some teachers continued teaching in the partially lighted classrooms.

After about an hour of sitting in classrooms, administrators moved students outside to shady areas of the high school campus, he added, for fear that batteries in the emergency back-up lights might wear down and make the building even darker.

Students were outside for about 15 minutes before power was restored, Whitson said.

Ed Holliday, principal at Stone Academy, said the power outage brought no major changes except for serving lunch a little earlier. Students remained in classes, many of which are held in portables.

But the loss of power became a major inconvenience for some businesses along Wade Hampton between East Lee Road and Cherokee Drive.

Ron Hedstrom, who runs the Crown gas station at the intersection of Wade Hampton Boulevard and Meridian Lane, said the power loss cost him money. "I can't sell anything. Normally this is a real busy time of the morning," he said.

It's not an uncommon occurrence for animals to find their way into substations, Shiel said, adding that Duke Power tries to spray each substation with special scents.

"A small animal can get into a substation and cause a short. All they have to do is get on the wrong line and basically it'll short out a circuit," Shiel said.

-- Doris (, October 06, 2000

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