SJ elementary school in session without electricity as PG&E works to restore power

ByDustin Dorsey and Lena Howland KGO logo
Thursday, February 8, 2024
SJ students on day 3 of school being held in power outage
Baldwin Elementary School in San Jose's Oak Grove School District is still holding classes, despite there being a power outage.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Tens of thousands are still without power across the Bay Area. That includes some schools in session, despite no heat and limited generator power.

Baldwin Elementary School in San Jose's Oak Grove School District is still holding classes.

"Everything is good, but there's no electricity right now," said parent Kapil Sethi.

Equipped with flashlights, and a few extra layers than normal, parents are sending their students to school for a third day in the dark and cold on Wednesday.

Live storm updates: PG&E explains why some Bay Area residents still don't have power

Pictures shared with us show very little light put out by lanterns and power strips packed with plugs. The students, meanwhile, looked pretty chilly on what was a wet, windy and cold day in San Jose.

"Just telling us to wear warm, to keep the kids warm, because the school, there's no electricity and also, they need flashlights for the reading, flashlight or a lamp, whatever it is," said parent Dara Ly.

Within a few blocks of the school, ABC7 found what appeared to be a PG&E power pole snapped in half and dangling by the wires.

Neighbors said it's been like this since Sunday.

On Facebook, the district told parents the cause of the outage is because of an equipment issue that PG&E is already aware of.

"It's a little troublesome, because the kids don't have heat. And we wonder about the cafeteria, whether they can eat, do they have lights?" said parent Carlos Munoz. "Can they see what they're going to eat? And primarily, safety."

MORE: Sunday's atmospheric river was Bay Area's strongest storm since 2010, NWS says

While a spokesperson for district says "parents have the option to keep their students at home," some parents ABC7 spoke with said they didn't get that memo.

"They didn't say it was optional," Munoz said.

The district is encouraging students to dress warm, because the school's HVAC system isn't fully supported by generators, which are working only to light common areas, including the kitchen, so lunch can still be provided.

"She's enjoying it. It's different for her. She gets to bring a flashlight with her," Sethi said.

But many parents ABC7 spoke with are staying positive, hopeful that students can learn a good life lesson from this experience.

"I think it's good. I think it's positive. I think it shows the kids, no matter what, that they have to be in school. That's responsibility number one right, and it shows the kids also, that no matter what, life goes on," Munoz said.

PG&E expects restoration work to be finished Wednesday night. If not, they'll provide temporary generators for Thursday to get the lights back on for students.

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