UPDATED: Pines Elementary Back Open After Power Problem

By: Natalie Kaplan Email
By: Natalie Kaplan Email

Pines Elementary School in Plymouth is back open today.

Students were forced to evacuate the school and go home early Monday afternoon after the power went out and it started to smell like smoke.

Some parents WITN spoke with say they were upset at the lack of communication between the school and them. School Principal Rob Ricketson tells us when they lost power their phone lines went dead as well. The County's Emergency Management Team had to come in and send out a voice recording about the problem to parents. Although some parents didn't get the message until hours after the fact it was the best they could do at the time.

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A power problem caused the evacuation of one school in Eastern Carolina.

The smell of smoke forced students out of Pines Elementary School in Plymouth Monday afternoon for about 30 minutes.

School officials say there is no fire at the school.

Superintendent Dr. Julius Walker says the problem began when Dominion Power cut one of their three power phases. The school system says since their air handlers run on three phases, that caused the smell of smoke.

The school says it shut down the air handlers, and were forced to dismiss school early because of the power problems.

Some parents WITN spoke with say they had no idea what was going on at the school and there was a complete lack of communication. They say phone alerts telling them the school was closing at 2:00 p.m. were received at 3:45 p.m.

Dr. Walker says it all happened so quickly that school officials did not have enough time to notify parents, but in all, the evacuation went very well.

There is no word yet whether Pines will be able to reopen Tuesday.

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