breaking news

Man ID’d in Gardens Mall shooting incident, ordered bond

After Hurricane Irma: More than 75% of PBC public schools have power


More than 75 percent of Palm Beach County’s public schools now have power, the school district says, a rate of progress that has administrators optimistic that schools will be ready to reopen on Monday.

Hurricane Irma left just 25 percent of the county’s more than 180 public schools with power on Monday, officials said, but the number of schools with electricity has tripled in 48 hours as Florida Power & Light Co. works to restore them.

“FPL is working tirelessly to get all of us back online,” said Donald Fennoy, the school district’s chief operating officer. “It looks like everything is on track for a Monday restart.”

RELATED: Palm Beach County public schools will be closed all week

By 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, 141 schools — 78 percent — reportedly had power and another 40 were still without power, according to a report provided by the school district.

More than half of the school district’s air-conditioning systems are still offline, but Fennoy said in most cases administrators expect that the systems can be reactivated manually. For units that continue to malfunction, administrators expect to bring in temporary chilling units to keep campuses cool.

In the meantime, the school district has crews collecting debris at campuses across the county. In addition to district workers, the district is using a private company to help ready the campuses for the resumed classes.

Fennoy said the cost of the recovery efforts is “definitely in the millions” for the school district, with most of the cost coming in payments to the cleanup company and overtime for district employees.

The main hurdle to reopening schools is restoring electricity, but Fennoy said administrators are still dealing with other issues that need to be addressed before classes can resume.

“We still have a lot of employees outside of the state,” he said. “And we’re hoping that the food delivery system will get back in place.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

NEW: Man arrested in shooting outside Gardens Mall held on $20K bond
NEW: Man arrested in shooting outside Gardens Mall held on $20K bond

A man arrested in a shooting outside The Gardens Mall on Friday was ordered by a judge to be held on a $20,000 bond Saturday morning. Dimitri Virginia, 23, of Riviera Beach, faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, firing a weapon in public, and a weapon offense for bringing a missile into a dwelling. County...
Gardens gallery is showing pop art sought by celebrities [PHOTOS]
Gardens gallery is showing pop art sought by celebrities [PHOTOS]

A bright, blingy display of modern pop art fashionable with celebrities is on display at the Onessimo Fine Art Gallery this month. Paris Hilton, Gloria Estefan and Lil’ Kim have commissioned works from Kfir Moyal, a Miami-based artist who embellishes famous faces with Swarovski crystals, according to a news release.  Queen Elizabeth...
AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young dead at 64
AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young dead at 64

Rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, the co-founder of the rock ’n’ roll group AC/DC, died Saturday, Rolling Stone reported and the band announced on its website. He was 64. Young had been suffering from dementia for the past three years, which forced his retirement from the band that he founded with his brother Angus Young in 1973...
Texas residents find mail dumped near sewer drain
Texas residents find mail dumped near sewer drain

Residents in a Texas neighborhood are angry that their mail apparently has been going down the drain. Brenda Tisdale was walking her dogs in a southwest neighborhood in Mesquite when she noticed a few clean, white pieces of paper in a sewer drain, KTVT reported. “I was thinking, ‘that’s where all of our mail has gone,&rsquo...
Mugabe refuses to step down as Zimbabwe’s president
Mugabe refuses to step down as Zimbabwe’s president

Thousands of Zimbabwe residents marched in the streets of Harare on Saturday, demanding the resignation of President Robert Mugabe, CNN reported. The protests in the capital city occurred days after the 93-year-old president was put under house arrest by the army, which also detained some of his key political allies. Mugabe has been Zimbabwe&rsquo...
More Stories