It remains unclear if Manassas Park Elementary and Cougar Elementary will open for classes Thursday, after winds from Hurricane Sandy toppled electricial lines behind the school, division officials said.
The Manassas Park school division issued a statement Wednesday announcing Manassas Park Middle School and Manassas Park High School will open on Thursday, but a decision about Cougar Elementary and Manassas Park Elementary is pending based on the restoration of power to the elementary campus.
The division intends to announce a decision about the lower schools late Wednesday. All four schools were closed this week because of the storm and subsequent damages.
The winds damaged six power lines in Prince William County just behind the campus of the lower schools.
Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative crews have reconnected 93 percent of the customers who lost power.
NOVEC is still working on the power lines serving the two schools, but was able to restore power to customers in that area just after 8 a.m. Wednesday, the company's officials said.
NOVEC estimates that most of the remaining 2,000 customers still waiting for service will be reconnected to the power grid by Thursday night.
“Our temperatures went from balmy 70s on Saturday to 40-some degrees on Monday when Sandy’s full force of rain and wind tore through here,” said Mike Curtis, NOVEC vice president of public relations. “We know customers without electricity are cold, frustrated and anxious to have power restored. That’s why we’ll not leave the field until the last customer can turn on the lights.”
Extra crews from North and South Carolina, and Maryland working with them since Sunday morning. Tuesday night, more out-of-state crews arrived to help cut trees off power lines and replace scores of broken utility poles.
“Photos on our website show the extensive damage Sandy did to our system: from Loudoun County, to the entire town of Clifton in Fairfax County, to Stafford County," he said. " Crews are making sure all power lines are repaired and connected. Some damage is so bad that it may take a couple more days to remove trees and replace broken poles. We appreciate everyone’s patience.”
Curtis said crews went out in the worst of the storm to repair lines and haven't stopped since. The company has received posative comments for its work.
Still, everyone should be extremely careful while out on Halloween night, down lines may be masked by downed trees and debris. Any downed lines should be treated as live, Curtis said.
If you still down have power consider the following tips:
• Open freezers and refrigerators only when necessary.
• Only use portable generators, camp stoves, or grills outdoors to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and heat food in a chafing dish or fondue pot over canned fuel.