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Power outage causes flooding at Shorewood High School

Temporary shelter set up at SHS to keep people out of heat

Aug. 28, 2013

Shorewood — Thousands were without power Tuesday afternoon after a power outage that caused flooding at Shorewood High School.

After the outage, a yet-to-be-determined boiler malfunction caused flooding in the nearby orchestra room.

"There was a foot of water in there before they got a chance to shut it off," said district Communications Director Rachel Vesco.

Vesco said workers on behalf of the district's insurance company quickly arrived and removed the water. About two feet of drywall was damaged, as well as three instruments and several drama costume items, Vesco said.

As of Wednesday morning district staff and outside contractors were working to fix the flood damage and were investigating the cause of the flooding.

According to We Energies spokeswoman Cathy Schulze, a fuse/switch device located near the intersection of Capitol Drive and Oakland Avenue was seen smoldering and smoking around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, leaving about 3,300 customers without power.

"We had the vast majority of customers back rather quickly," Schulze said.

By 6 p.m. Tuesday, all but 200 customers were back on the grid, Schulze said, with nearly everyone back online or on generator power by 3 a.m.

Around 8 p.m., the Red Cross set up a shelter at Shorewood High School for those in nearby apartment buildings who were stranded without power in the heat.

"It was a place for people to escape the heat," Red Cross spokeswoman Sara Bruesewitz said, "since it was so hot last night."

Bruesewitz said the Red Cross served 75 meals and counted 10 adults, one child, and a dog at midnight. The shelter closed around 4 a.m. Wednesday.

As of Wednesday morning, several commercial buildings were still running on generator power, with one remaining building without any power whatsoever.

"Our crews are still out there making permanent repairs," Schulze said. "Some of the folks with power up are still on generators."

At press time, We Energies expected to have all of Shorewood back on the grid by Wednesday afternoon.

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