Wellington Community High School without power; air conditioning, phones, internet impacted

Outage likely caused by lightning strike, according to callout from Principal Cara Hayden
Wellington High School
Posted at 9:26 AM, Apr 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-17 17:39:48-04

WELLINGTON, Fla. — Wellington Community High School was without power Monday, which impacted services at the school, including air conditioning, phones and internet.

In a callout to parents and guardians, school officials said the outage was likely caused by a lightning strike.

The school, located at 2101 Greenview Shores Blvd., was operating on generator power and Monday was a "regularly scheduled instructional day."

In a callout at 4 p.m. Monday, the school said FPL is still working to resolve the issue and it's unclear when the necessary repairs will be completed.

"Due to this unforeseen power failure, your child’s absence will be excused and it will be marked 'S' for school-related absence," the callout said. "This school-related absence will not be counted toward determining if a student needs to pass the semester exam to get credit for the course."

Monday afternoon, there were only 75 students on campus, according to a callout from Principal Cara Hayden.

However, the school did not have air conditioning, operating phones or internet. In addition, the cafeteria served bagged lunches.

"District maintenance teams are working on providing assistance," the callout said.

Pending any inclement weather, after-school outdoor activities should continue as regularly planned, Hayden said. If a student was dismissed this morning, they may still return for any athletic practice.

"Showed up this morning, walking into school, saw a bunch of kids walking back and I was like, what's going o? And they were like, there's no power," student Matis Gibson said.

It was not your average school day for Wellington High School students after storms knocked out power to the school.

"Everyone is in the auditorium. There's no air conditioning, no power, no internet," Gibson said. "It was hot. Very hot."

The first message to parents went out at 6:30 a.m. before the school day started, letting them know the school did not have power and was operating on generators.

"I just told my daughter, get ready to go to school because I'm sure they'll have everything resolved," parent Claudia Campbell said.

Some parents like Campbell wuestioned whether the school day was even happening.

"Hearing from parents who had kids actually at the school being told they should leave, that's when all the confusion really started. Cecause we were like, is school happening? Is it not?" Campbell said.

A second message at about 9 a.m. told parents there was no air conditioning, phones, or internet, but the day was proceeding as normal and the cafeteria would serve bagged lunches.

By the afternoon, the school said only 75 students were on campus.

"It was just weird because the people you always see in your classes and see in the hallway just weren't there," freshman Jonathan Paul said.

Paul came to school ready to take a test, but left soon after he realized there was no power. But he's taking it all in stride.

"Just ready to be back tomorrow with the math quiz," Paul said.

FPL's power tracker said damage to FPL equipment caused the outage.