Outage that closed James Clemens High School restored - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Outage that closed James Clemens High School restored

James Clemens High School closed Wednesday due to a power outage. (Graphic: MGN Online) James Clemens High School closed Wednesday due to a power outage. (Graphic: MGN Online)

Workers with Athens Utilities restored power to hundreds of customers Wednesday after they spent the morning without the heat amid single-digit temperatures.

An outage also affected James Clemens High School, which had to cancel classes, Madison City Schools confirmed Wednesday.

Power was restored around noon. Athens Utilities said they set a new record when energy use peaked at 343 megawatts, breaking the old record set during another cold snap earlier in January.

The utility company said on an average winter day, they expect to see usage peak around 260 mW. They encourage all customers to try to limit their energy usage early in the mornings and during the early evening hours. They said it will help keep bills as low as possible plus keep the grids up and running.

"When it gets colder like it is, especially when it's so unseasonably cold, the usage is going to go up. People are going to use more power, just as they do in August or September when it gets really hot," said utility spokesperson Amy Golden.

One woman affected by the outage suffered a double whammy, being without power and having too little propane to rely on in the interim. Limestone County mother Jennifer Hallinan said there was a chance she would have run out of fuel during the power outage, and without certainty of obtaining more, she went without.

"Every time we order propane from our propane company it takes nine or ten days to come out here. We called a week ago Monday to get it because we're down to less than one tank, and they won't bring it to us," Hallinan said.

"We feel helpless. I've been on the phone this morning with the power company and they won't give you any answers. I've argued for half an hour with the propane company and also yesterday. I understand we're in a shortage, but they're just not willing to part with any gas," she continued.

The propane company said they suspended delivery to anyone that has a primary heating source that is not propane because of the shortage. If a customer's sole source of heat is propane, deliveries are still made.

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