Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

February 11, 2013

Outage turns the lights off

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — The lights flickered on and off for a few seconds before going dark for a bit longer as Pauls Valley was part of a much larger power outage Friday morning.

Although the cause of the outage lasting around two hours has not been revealed, it was widespread in the region impacting most of PV and stretching north to Paoli and parts of McClain County and south to Wynnewood.

Rumors of lockdowns and intruders at schools in Pauls Valley turned out to be untrue as instead the outage that shut down many local offices and businesses had little impact on the classrooms.

In fact, school Superintendent Darsha Huckabaa said the loss of electricity for parts of Friday morning was more of an inconvenience as classroom instruction continued like normal for the most part.

“We didn’t do a lockdown or anything,” Huckabaa said.

“We did the same thing we do every day. It didn’t disrupt anything. We continued our day like normal,” she said.

One reason for that is exterior light from windows is available to all classrooms at each of the local schools, according to Huckabaa.

That means teachers were able to continue with their classes despite the lack of lights overhead.

The superintendent stressed the real impact of the power outage was lunch time.

“We had to improvise on our lunch by serving sandwiches and chips instead of the regular menu,” she said.

“As long as we can feed 1,300 kids at lunch we’re OK.”

The remainder of Friday’s school day was even less eventful as power returned during the late morning hours..

The only real impact of the outage came at PV’s high school.

Although no official lockdown was called for at the school there was a brief time during the outage that students were placed into classrooms simply to clear the darkened hallways.

At Pauls Valley General Hospital the two-hour power outage didn’t present a real problem, at least when it came to the all important medical aspects.

Bridget Cosby, president and CEO of Pauls Valley General Hospital, said the outage was a bit disruptive for some but not a big problem as the care of patients continued like normal.

“With us being a medical institution we have numerous back-up plans, and we have generators,” Cosby said.

“All our major medical equipment is plugged into ‘red plugs,’ which are connected to generators. When the power goes out it automatically clicks on and we don’t even notice,” she said.

“All major stuff does continue like normal. We’re perfectly capable of taking care of patients when the power goes out.

“It’s an inconvenience, but the patients still receive the same care.”