Bill Clem, the site engineer at Harlan County High School, said the generator functioned exactly as it was designed.
“When the school lost power, the backup generator kicked in,” Clem said. “It provided sufficient lighting for the classrooms. All of the hallways and corridors were lit as well.”
Clem said the abundance of natural light in the school also helped with the power outage.
Brent Roark, the assistant superintendent of instruction, said classes would have probably been canceled if the power outage occurred at another school within the county.
“We would have had to dismiss classes at the other schools,” Roark said. “But, because of the generators we didn’t have to miss one second of instructional time.”
Roark, who was at the school while the generators were in use, said teachers and students were able to continue with their daily classroom activities.
“They kept right on. The lights in the classroom dimmer slightly when the generator kicked in,” he said.
Harlan County Schools assistant superintendent Mike Howard said the generator started within seconds of the power outage.
“It went terrific. As soon as the electricity went out the generator kicked in and school resumed,” Howard said.
Roark said being able to continue with school helped to avoid potential problems.
“It kept down a lot of chaos,” Roark said. “You can imagine what a mess it there would have been if we had to dismiss school early. It was a big relief for everybody.”
School officials noted the power outage was not caused by anything at the high school.