Power outages close 2 schools
Two public schools closed on Friday during the first significant snowstorm of the season, but not entirely because of the weather.Glenshire and Donner Trail elementary schools closed on Friday because of a loss of power.The Glenshire area experienced a power outage caused by a broken porcelain insulator on a utility pole located just east of the Glenshire Clubhouse, according to Sierra Pacific Power spokesman Karl Walquist.Why the insulator, which keeps power lines from touching, failed is not entirely clear, Walquist said. He added that its possible that a heavy buildup of snow fell off a sagging power line, causing the line to snap back and break the ceramic device.He said the outage affected 350 power customers before crews repaired it at 9:35 a.m.Donner Trail School at Kingvale on Donner Summit also experienced a power outage for most of the day. Weather-related events caused two circuits to blow, according to Pacific Gas and Electric Spokesman Paul Moreno.That outage affected 107 PGandamp;E customers, Moreno said.The nine other district schools started two hours late due to the heavy snowfall, according to the Tahoe Truckee Unified School Districts Web site.Two other blackouts were reported around Tahoe and Truckee Friday, one along the Truckee River between Tahoe City and Alpine Meadows Ski area. It was caused by a tree falling on a power line and affected about 20 customers for most of the morning, Walquist said.In Floriston, heavy snowfall most likely caused power lines to short out, blacking out the residences of about 190 customers, Walquist said.