An extended power outage at Belle Terre Elementary led the school district to end the school day early there and request that car-rider pick-up their children from 12:30 to 1 p.m. (At 1:30 p.m., Flagler Parent, the local Facebook page, was reporting the car rider line backed up to Indian Trails Middle School.)
Children who normally ride the bus may then be picked up from 1 p.m. on, the way parents normally pick up children early–with photo ID, a Flagler County school district spokesperson said.
Children who cannot be picked up early will be supervised at the school and provided bagged lunches and bottled water, until the normal dismissal time at 3:30 p.m.
The buses will run from Belle Terre at their normal time, after 3:30 p.m., for any child who has not been picked up by then.
The district spokesman said the source of the power outage was not clear. District personnel worked with Florida Power and Light in attempts to resolve the issue earlier today, unsuccessfully. The district had issued a call to parents earlier in the day suggesting that the power would be restored sometime this morning. When that proved not to be the case, the district issued another call and emails to parents instructing them of the early dismissal.
Extended day has also been cancelled–at Belle Terre Elementary only, of course. But for parents who are unable to pick up their children before 6 p.m., the district has made arrangements to have any children who remain at the school for extended day supervised until 6. “Staff will be on hand: we will have staff on campus to watch the kids until they can be picked up,” the spokesperson said.
Phones at the school did not appear to be working, either. But some staffers were communicating by email, since cell service was not disabled.
It isn’t clear whether the power outage extends beyond Belle Terre Elementary. But it is not affecting Indian Trails Middle School, a few hundred yards to the south. (At one point school officials considered transferring Belle Terre’s students to the gym at Indian Trails, but that proved unnecessary. “We’re fortunate, the weather is beautiful today, it’s not like a 90-degree scorcher,” the spokesperson said.
FPL had not responded to questions yet before this article initially published. The FPL outage map indicated an outage originating at the Indian Trails Sports Complex, and affecting from 2 to 100 customers, as well as the single outage at Belle Terre Elementary, initially reported at 7:14 a.m. As of 1 p.m., FPL was reporting that the estimated time of power restoration would be 1:30 p.m. The cause of the outage is listed as “damage to FPL equipment.”
A little after 4:30 p.m., an FPL spokesman emailed a statement to FlaglerLive: “We are aware of the service interruption that occurred at Belle Terre Elementary this morning in Palm Coast. Our crews were on site making repairs and made contact with the school’s superintendent regarding the outage. Power has been restored to the school. We apologize for the inconvenience this created for the school and parents.”