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Cops: Man Dies in Hempstead Turnpike Crash

Squirrel Zapped by Power Line Keeps EMHS in Dark

Students allegedly sat in their classrooms for over two hours before learning what had happened.

was without power for almost three hours Friday after an errant squirrel allegedly caused an issue in an electrical pole along Carman Avenue Friday morning.

A fuse was knocked out at around 10:30 a.m., causing a transformer in the school's basement to smoke, a custodian stated.

"We shut the whole building down," he added. "The fire department came, but it was no big deal."

Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) received the call at 10:45 a.m., according to spokesperson Mark Gross.

"Upon inspection, it was a squirrel that made contact with the primary wire, and that caused the blown fuse," he added.

LIPA replaced the blown fuse and power was restored to the building by 1:30 p.m. Students were granted an early dismissal at approximately 1 p.m.

The custodian said that the building runs on three fuses, and when one of them is knocked out, the building cannot function on just two, which led to the transformer smoking.

"Kids were freaking out at first," he said. "But the school was taking every precaution."

Lauren Nissenbaum, a junior at East Meadow High School, was going about her day as normal when the lights began to flicker.

"I was outside with my friends for a second," Nissenbaum said. "One of the lights dimmed, and then all of the lights shut off. We were freaking out."

According to Nissenbaum, a teacher came and told the students to remain in the classroom, which by then was cold and dark. Rumors spread that there was an electrical fire in the basement.

"We were in the dark with 70 kids," Nissenbaum said. "The announcements weren't working and neither were the phones."

Nissenbaum, who was in chorus, spent the next two hours in the classroom before a student came and said they were allowing people to go to their lockers.

LIPA officials reported that this was an isolated incident.

"No other businesses or residents were affected," Gross added.

Attempts to contact Superintendent Louis DeAngelo and East Meadow Fire Chief Thomas Tergesen were unsuccessful.

Jaime Sumersille contributed to this article.

Jacqueline Kendrick December 06, 2010 at 01:51 AM
Oh okay. Thank you, Mari. The way one of these comments posed it, it sounded like these children were about to be put into a concentration camp. I've been stuck in a high school classroom for 6 hours with no power due to storms, have been locked into classrooms for the duration of the school day (because runaway robbers decided to hide from police in a nice neighborhood and once caught, decided to have a shoot out) and had to evacuate the school more times than I can number due to bomb threats. The list goes on. My goodness! If the children in this high school were reacting this way to a simple power outage, they would have REALLY jumped out of windows had they been in my high school. It doesn't seem anything serious happened and I'm sure the students were glad to have an excuse not to do work :-)
MAY December 06, 2010 at 03:16 AM
Yup. You should have seen it during the lockdown a few years back when some armed bank robbers were on the loose! They were stuck inside the building for 2 hours and were acting like they were in jail! I'd rather know my child is safe in their school (with police in front) than know that they were excused from school and could be held hostage. High school students certainly know how to embellish a situation. Plus, in the day of cell phones, and ipods, these kids were not at a loss for communication or entertainment:)
Daniel December 06, 2010 at 03:25 PM
the kid got suspended plus my brother saw it from outside his french class. is that enough proof?
Jacqueline Kendrick December 06, 2010 at 03:26 PM
Proof of....what, exactly?
Susan Daniels December 09, 2010 at 06:58 PM
It's true, about the kid jumping out of the window. As a concerned parent I called up the school district and asked them about it. At first they were reluctant to tell me but then admitted that it was true but wouldnot tell me the kid's name. I was later talking to my friend about the subject and she said that it was in fact her friend's son who had jumped out of the window! She told me that the kid was grounded and suspended from school.


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