Three Virginia City Schools Closed Due to Power Outage

March 31, 2016

By Joe Rizzo - Contributing Writer

It is not always easy to tell what effect one circumstance will have. A domino effect or chain reaction is the cumulative effect produced when one event sets off a chain of similar events. The term is best known as a mechanical effect. It typically refers to a linked sequence of events where the time between successive events is relatively small.

Last week, a police officer found a white Chrysler Town & Country minivan crashed at the intersection of Burrell Street and Gandy Road near Liberty Road in Roanoke, Va. Only the minivan was found as apparently the driver fled the scene.

The resulting domino effect that started by the minivan crashing into an electrical pole ended with a total of three poles being knocked down causing power to go out to buildings that house three Roanoke elementary schools.

The series of events is still under investigation and it is not sure if the other two poles were hit or if the tension from the first pole caused the wires to snap taking down the poles. The only good thing to report about this incident is that it occurred at 2 a.m. while the kids were out of school.

According to Teresa Hamilton Hall, an Appalachian Power spokeswoman, about 1,400 customers were left without power. She said, "We were able to do some switching and restore quite a few, but we still have 628 customers without power."

If it can be referred to as such, another positive factor is that this occurred on a Friday and the power was restored to all customers sometime around 4:30 p.m. Parents were informed early in the morning and the kids only missed one day of school. However, a lot of work is required to replace the damaged poles and power lines.

Power outages can be caused by any number of factors, regardless of whether a storm knocks out power or a car hits a utility pole, the constant is the fact that for a period of time people are left without power. Having the power go out without any notice can lead to a loss of data and equipment. Whether your business server crashes, or you did not have a chance to save school work, you are experiencing a loss.

The best way to prevent further damage or loss from taking place is to have an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) connected to your more vital systems. Schools are using laptops and tablets, if they are damaged due to power issues it becomes very difficult and costly to replace these teaching aids. In this situation a UPS can be a life saver.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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