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Update 11:51 a.m. , Dec. 9: Moore County Schools returned to normal operations for students and staff on Friday.


Update 8:56 a.m., Dec. 8: Moore County Schools is open for staff today as an optional work day. The school system will announce this afternoon if schools will reopen for students on Friday.

Operations at Sandhills Community College are back to normal for both campuses today.

Original article below.


An attack on two electrical substations in Moore County over the weekend plunged thousands into darkness, left K-12 students out of school, and shut down operations at Sandhills Community College’s Moore County campus.

Here is what we know:

K- 12 students are out of school at least through Thursday. According to the Moore County Schools website, a decision about Friday will be made by 4 p.m. on Thursday. School staff are also not to report to work Wednesday, though it’s unclear if that will continue until Thursday.

“One power is restored, twenty-four hours is required for schools to be able to welcome back students,” an alert on the website stated. “This is due to the impact the outage has had on child nutrition services; specifically our school cafeteria freezers and the need to move food supplies to sites that have electricity. Additionally, the outage continues to impact traffic patterns that make it unsafe to operate school buses.”

Sandhills Community College serves students in both Hoke and Moore counties. The Hoke County campus is operating as normal, but the Moore County campus is closed through Wednesday. The website doesn’t say anything about whether operations will resume Thursday.

Updates from Moore County Schools

According to Catherine Nagy, director of communications for Moore County Schools, there are no alternative classes being offered to students who are out of school at this time.

“Even if we had a virtual option, all of our students, teachers and staff are also out of power and lack access to adequate internet access,” she said in an email.

The same is true for student meals. During COVID-19, the district was able to offer curbside drive-up food service for students thanks to a government waiver. But that waiver is no longer in place. Additionally, Nagy said that without power, the school has no way to prepare food for students.

“Our resources were mainly focused on salvaging as much food in our freezers that we could, which meant relocating frozen items to schools that still had power,” she said. “We have also been focusing on disposing of perishable items and restocking fresh items prior to opening our schools, which we hope to on Friday.”

She said the school system wanted to thank families and staff. She said that because the event was so sudden, the school system couldn’t plan the way it would with inclement weather.

“We recognize the challenge throughout the county with people being out of power, not being able to work in many cases, and with students out of school,” she said. “We can’t wait to welcome our students back to school and return to a normal schedule as soon as we can.”

When will power be restored?

The task of restoring power to the many who are affected falls to Duke Energy. Logan Stewart Kureczka, the lead communications manager with Duke Energy, said that equipment at the substations have been “repaired and replaced.” She said that Duke Energy is testing Wednesday to make sure everything is in working order.

“Since we’re talking about so many customers in a small geographic area without power, big picture — we’re working to get the power back on for as many customers as possible, as quickly and safely as possible,” she said in an email.

She said that she didn’t have any information to offer as to when Moore County Schools or Sandhills Community College would have power restored, “other than they are included in the group we’re working to restore.”


Editor’s Note: This article will be updated with information about Sandhills Community College and any other updates as information becomes available.

 

Alex Granados

Alex Granados is senior reporter for EducationNC.