The outage began shortly before noon on Friday, according to the electric company, shutting off lights at the elementary and middle school on Prospect Place between Rogers and Nostrand avenues, and several residences and businesses on the surrounding blocks.
A Con Edison spokesman said the exact cause of the manhole fire that caused the outage is still being investigated, but said these types of accidents are often caused by road salt eroding wiring beneath the city’s roadways. The agency estimated service would be restored around midnight Friday night.
P.S. 138 Principal Marie Chauvet said staff worked to keep the kids cool and occupied during the three hours they were in the school with no power before school dismissal.
“We took them to the cafeteria, which was very cool, because we needed air,” she said. “Some of them we took to the yard, so they could have a chance to play, and took some of them to the gym with the gym teacher so they could do yoga.”
Olivia Yearwood, 9, said she was more surprised than scared when the lights went off during a math lesson in her fourth grade classroom.
”Our teacher was talking and then out of nowhere, the lights just shut right off. We had to go down in the auditorium,” where a back-up generator kept a few lights on, she said.
Around the corner from the school, Con Edison crews worked on a manhole on Park Place and Rogers Avenue, directing traffic because the intersection’s lights were not working.
Despite the interruption, at least one P.S. 138 student, nine-year-old Destiny Mitchell, didn’t mind the outage.
“When the lights are off, you have no work to do!” the fourth grader said.