Winter storm causes power outages


As a result of the latest winter storm, many students have no power or internet access. Photo by Daphne Yu

Atreyo Ghosh

As a result of the latest winter storm, many students have no power or internet access. Photo by Daphne Yu
As a result of the latest winter storm, many students have no power or internet access. Photo by Daphne Yu
While the snowfall today, Feb. 26, has brought a snow day to students in Columbia Public Schools, the snow was not content with merely putting students out of school. The snow storm, which has prompted CPS to cancel school for Wednesday, Feb. 27, as well, knocked down a number of power lines across Columbia according to news network KOMU. As a result, a number of students are without power or internet. This is a potential problem for students, such as sophomore Stephanie LeBlanc, who take online classes or rely on online resources for their classes.
“For my online class, I need to go on Angel and follow the website at my own pace. Luckily for me, I already finished all of my phases and all I have to do is my 3D house design which does not require Internet. The snow day and no Internet does not affect me that much other than the fact that I now can’t turn in my project because there’s no Internet access,” LeBlanc said. “Thankfully I have contact with my online class teacher and he understands … But I do have homework in other classes. Having a snow day helps me catch up on a book I should’ve been reading, but I don’t really need the Internet to complete my other assignments. The only downside is no access to the AP [World History] Facebook group, which helps give me updates and advice on assignments for the class.”
The lack of internet has not only hindered students who take online classes, as extra review materials are also usually online as well. Senior Zach Moore was hoping to study for an upcoming calculus test this morning, but because he had no power, he could not access necessary review materials.
“I wanted to get the review packet answers from Angel, but because the power was out, I couldn’t do that. I would go to some place with Internet that is close by, but I don’t have a laptop and didn’t want to drive,” Moore said. “So studying has been pretty difficult. Instead I’ve just been doing some reading and some extra shoveling to make a path for my dog to use … If [the power] still is out when it gets dark I have no idea what I’ll do though. We have flashlights but that’s not super convenient.”
When Moore and his family called to see if there was a timeline for when their power would return, they learned that the situation was “so bad, they called in crews from other states.” Existing crews, Moore said, were already out working in the county.
As of 3 p.m., Columbia Water and Light had restored power to the majority of their customers, according to KOMU. Internet service, however, may be another question entirely. Mediacom currently is having trouble with some of their services.
“Customers in Camdenton, Jeff City, and Columbia, Mo. … are experiencing service issues due to a confirmed fiber optic cable line cut,” Mediacom’s Help Service said. “Our technicians are aware of the issue and are working to resolve it. There are no further actions you need to take at this time.”
Boone County is currently under a Winter Weather Advisory and will remain under one until 12 p.m. on Wednesday. Periodic light snow showers are expected into tomorrow, with totals of 6 to 10 inches of accumulation. Classes remain canceled for tomorrow, Feb. 27.
By Atreyo Ghosh
Additional reporting by Daphne Yu and Jacqueline LeBlanc
Was your power or internet out? What did you do instead? Tell us in the comments below!