LAND O'LAKES — Families at 13 Pasco County schools got word late Monday to dress their children warmly for classes today and Wednesday, in case their schools' power is cut off.
The school district has an interruptible power agreement with Progress Energy, in which it agrees to have its energy supply dropped first during peak usage times in order to prevent rolling brownouts. The district saves about $365,000 a year on its utility bill as part of the deal.
Back in January, 11 schools operated part of one day without power, forcing many children and teachers to wear hats, gloves and heavy jackets indoors during classes in the dark.
Suzanne Grant, spokeswoman for Progress Energy, said the company does not anticipate needing to interrupt power at the schools because the current cold snap is expected to be brief, unlike the one last winter. Still, Pasco school superintendent Heather Fiorentino asked principals at the schools in the agreement to notify parents of the possibility.
The 13 schools that could be affected are Chasco Elementary, Chasco Middle, Cotee River Elementary, Denham Oaks Elementary, Gulf High, Marchman Education Center, Mitchell High Pasco High, Pine View Elementary, Pine View Middle, Ridgewood High, Seven Springs Middle and Zephyrhills High.