power outages

Storm-Related Power Outages Cause Headaches for Remote Students, Workers

Power was knocked out to 100,000 customers across New England when storms moved through overnight, causing problems for people working and learning from home

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Storms knocked out power for many in Massachusetts overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, presenting a new challenge for students learning remotely.

It was about 15 minutes into Mady Sheehan's school day when things got interesting.

"It was really windy, I saw a big pole go down, I saw flashing lights, we lost power so I couldn't do school," Sheehan said.

Sheehan's Canton street was hit hard by a fast-moving storm that blew through on Wednesday morning, knocking out power and leaving her unable to continue with her remote learning for the day.

"It was kind of frustrating because I wasn't able to learn and I kind of wish there was another way to do it," the sixth grader said.

The storms knocked out power to more than 100,000 customers across New England, a unique tests for students as well as workers.

"I am on video calls all day long," said Laurie Burkhardt, who has been working from home since March. "This issue of not having power to work is a first-world problem, in the scheme of things, is not that big of deal."

Still, with no power, Burkhardt was forced to get creative.

"I am going to find a way to plug my computer into my car to keep it powered, and use my phone as a hotspot," she said.

In nearby Easton, the storm was a test for Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School, which has adopted a hybrid mix of in-person and remote learning.

"We waited about 45 minutes and realized the power was not coming back on, so we started," Superintendent Louis Lopes said. "A lot of the teachers were using their cell phones to communicate with those kids who were home."

In the end, an eventful day with new issues arising from this new normal.

"It is frustrating because we just started in the remote learning process," parent Shelia White said. "It is no different than a snow day, just the new version, it is 2020!"

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