By ASHLEIGH LIVINGSTON and LOIS CLERMONT
---- — MORRISONVILLE — Morrisonville Elementary School students were evacuated on Wednesday morning because of smoke.
The problem occurred the same time as a power outage caused by a car accident.
“A compression pump malfunctioned in the (school’s) boiler room, causing smoke and activating the alarm system,” Saranac Central Superintendent Ken Cringle told the Press-Republican by email.
Morrisonville and Cadyville volunteer fire departments responded to the call, which came in at about 7:25 a.m.
KIDS WAITED ON BUSES
The school was quickly evacuated, and students sat on buses, watching small amounts of smoke emanate from the building as firefighters handled the situation.
“The students were detained on the buses as a precautionary measure until a safety inspection was completed,” Cringle said.
The malfunction may be linked to a power outage that affected parts of Morrisonville.
“A power surge may have caused the motor malfunction when power was restored,” Cringle said.
A memo from Morrisonville Elementary School Principal Kathleen Moore was sent home to parents Wednesday afternoon, alerting them to the incident.
“All faculty, staff and students were able to enter the building shortly after 8 a.m. and continue their day as normal,” she said in the memo.
The only damage resulting from the incident, according to Cringle, was to the compression pump, which will have to be replaced.
“I’d like to thank the parents, students, staff, Morrisonville and Cadyville Fire Departments for responding in an appropriate and orderly manner,” Moore said.
“We are fortunate to be part of such a respectful, responsible community.”
POWER LINES BURNING
The power outage started as the result of a car accident that occurred on Route 22B in Morrisonville at about 3:20 a.m.
State Police said Cindy B. Bates, 56, of Morrisonville was driving a 2004 Honda sedan west when she allegedly fell asleep and drove off the south shoulder of the road.
Her car struck a New York State Electric and Gas pole, a mailbox and then a light pole before coming to rest.
When NYSEG responded, power lines were on fire adjacent to the car, said Michael Langlois, NYSEG construction supervisor for the company’s Electric Department in Plattsburgh.
The way was made safe for emergency responders to help Bates from the car, he said, and then work began to restore power for a total of 1,436 customers.
Clinton County Emergency Services Director Eric Day issued a warning about 7 a.m. Wednesday, saying “utility crews are working this morning to restore power, but it may still be a few hours.
“If your normal route of travel brings you on Route 22B between Rand Hill and Banker roads this morning, expect delays until at least noon as the road is closed there. Seek alternate routes.”
The pole was replaced and customers brought back online in sections, Langlois said — within two hours, 1,224 had power again, 47 minutes later another 76 had electricity, with the rest restored by 10 a.m.
Bates was taken to CVPH Medical Center with injuries to her upper extremities, State Police said. She was treated then released.
State Police ticketed her for failure to keep right.
— News Editor Suzanne Moore contributed to this report.