Power Failure Closes Waller Elementary

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YOUNGSTOWN- It began early friday morning when a utility pole at the intersection of 231 and North Bear Creek Road caught fire.

The power lines began sagging. Then an 18-wheeler snagged the lines knocking out the power.

"My husband works for the power company. He got called out about 4 oclock this morning," said Ashley Horton, parent. "They said that a big truck had hit a power poll at the end of the road and it did some damage, but the whole town of Youngstown is out right now."

Gulf cost electric cooperative customers in bayou george, fountain and along Highway 388 also lost power. That included waller elementary school.

"Well, the school was dark and I don't know what to think because you couldn't see through the hallways with the power being out."

Administrators had trouble with the phone system, but eventually contacted the district offices in panama city.

"We had them call an IRIS alert to alert the parents that they can come and pick-up their children," Peggy Bunch, Waller Elementary School Principal.

The children were taken to the multi purpose room. It was on generator power. Bunch also rounded-up bottled water for the students and staff.

For some it was an adventure.

"I kind of liked the dark," said Matthew Edmunds, fourth Grade Student.

"Parents have been very positive, the children were a little disappointed because this is the last day of school and they had some parties planned for celebrating the end of 2013," said Bunch.

Sheriff's deputies had to close both sides of highway 231, while crews repaired the damage customers got their electricity back around 1:00 this afternoon.

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