MT. VERNON — Classes were canceled at District 80 schools Thursday due to a power outage that affected Casey Middle School for much of the day.
Superintendent Mike Green said he decided to use an emergency day for the district because it would have been unsafe to hold classes at Casey without power.
Typically, when classes can’t be held at one district building, they are canceled for the entire district, Green said.
“With Casey having no electricity and no heat, we couldn’t have school,” Green said. “(It’s about) the safety of students and the employees. How much school can you really have when it’s that cold?”
The outage occurred after a power line fell into another line at 4:50 a.m. Thursday at 1700 Casey Ave. for an unknown reason.
This, in turn, caused one of the lines to catch fire and burn the utility pole, said Marcelyn Love, a spokesperson for Ameren Illinois. The transformer attached to the pole may also have been damaged.
Ameren crews were working throughout the day Thursday to replace the pole involved and re-string the lines, Love said.
“We’re making every effort to get it resolved as quickly as possible,” Love said Thursday afternoon.
Love said the outage impacted 1,054 customers. All but 12 of those customers had their power restored by 6:30 a.m. Thursday. All but three were restored by 2:30 p.m.
The remaining customers were expected to have power again by early evening.
Green said he received an initial call at 5:30 a.m. Thursday about the J.L. Buford Intermediate Education Center having no
power. He was then contacted at 5:45 a.m. about Casey being out as well.
Power was restored at Buford shortly after 6 a.m., but Casey was still without electricity.
“We didn’t know if Buford would go out again,” Green said.