ORANGE PARK, Fla. – An issue with Clay Electric knocked out power for almost 23,000 customers just before 5 a.m. -- nearly 10% of the utility’s customers. Friday At 10:20 a.m., a large number of customers came back on and Clay Electric’s outage map shows residents and businesses dropped to just under 2,000. Within minutes, that number dropped under 30.
A spokesperson for Clay Electric said the outage was caused by a transmission line and several crews. They said told News4Jax it would take several hours to resolve the issue.
The outage caused problems at least one major intersection along U.S. 17 and affected eight Clay County schools:
- Fleming Island High School
- Fleming Island Elementary School
- Paterson Elementary School
- Thunderbolt Elementary School
- Swimming Pen Creek Elementary School
- Doctors Inlet Elementary School
- Lake Asbury Junior High School
- Montclair Elementary School
- St. Johns Country Day (closing for the day)
A spokeswoman for Clay County schools said that power was back on at all public schools by 10:25 a.m. and they continued on with their day.
The head of school at St. Johns Country Day said they made the decision to close and had notified parents to pick up their students because Clay Electric told them the power would be out for six to eight hours.
“We were just sitting there doing work and then they came out and said, ‘We’ve got some news for you that you guys will like: Schools getting canceled at 11 a.m.’ And we’re all, like, ‘Yeah!’" eighth-grader Charlie Morgan said.
For Charlie’s younger sister, fifth-grader Caris Morgan, it was unexpected surprise for her birthday. The family was going to use the day to go out to eat.
Haley Morgan’s daughter was also having a birthday.
“So she’s thrilled that she gets out early on her birthday, but and I’m not complaining,” Morgan said. "I did have to cancel a couple of meetings this morning so I could come pick up the kids.”
According to the school, teachers and staff stayed on campus and there were supervised activities and study hall for students whose parents could not come pick them up. The school said here will be no after-school practices or home sporting events.
The VA’s Middleburg Outpatient Clinic also closed for the day due to the power outage. Veterans in need of lab services can go to the clinic at 1536 North Jefferson in Jacksonville. Any veterans who require immediate urgent care services can call the VISN 8 Clinical Contact Center at 877-741-3400.
🔺TRAFFIC ALERT:— Clay County Sheriff's Office, FL (@ccsofl) September 25, 2020
There is a large power outage in the Fleming Island area. The traffic lights at US 17 and County Road 220 are out due to this outage. Please use caution traveling through the above intersection. pic.twitter.com/x1unExJJbE
News4Jax callers reported there was an outage last night as well, but power was restored and then knocked out again before dawn Friday.