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High winds might have been a factor in two schools and about 2,000 homes being without power Thursday morning.

Tom Dennison, spokesman for Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, said the outages were caused by an equipment failure at the Tompkinsville substation, located off Route 257, early Thursday morning.

By 7 a.m., 2,000 were without power including Newburg schools Piccowaxen Middle and Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary. Dennison said the failure is under investigation, but the high winds from the night before might have been a factor.

Charles County Public Schools spokeswoman Katie O’Malley-Simpson said staff noticed there was no power at the schools after 6 a.m. when many students already were on their way to Piccowaxen.

She said when students arrived to the middle school at about 7:30 a.m., they were directed to their homerooms. Students in classrooms without natural light were moved to areas in the school that had emergency power.

Dennison said SMECO workers were able to reroute power to both Piccowaxen and Higdon, and both schools had power at 7:50 a.m., five minutes before the first bell at Piccowaxen and more than an hour before Higdon’s 9:10 a.m. start time.

O’Malley-Simpson said the school system appreciates the efforts SMECO made to get both schools back with power as quickly as they did.

She said during the time staff and students were without power, Piccowaxen Principal Kenneth Schroeck made an announcement explaining the situation.

Dennison said workers still are rerouting power to get the electricity back on for all those affected.

gphillips@somdnews.com