Some students in the Westside Community Schools got an unexpected break on what was supposed to be their first day of classes.
A large power outage Wednesday led the district to cancel the afternoon sessions at Westside Middle School and Westside High School.
The outage, which occurred when a substation went offline at 9:48 a.m., affected about 4,900 customers.
It affected an area that extended from Western to Poppleton Avenues and from 82nd to 105th Streets, said Jodi Baker, spokeswoman for the Omaha Public Power District.
Power was restored to most customers, including all Westside schools, by early afternoon.
Christ the King School, 831 S. 88th St., as well as Christ the King Church also were without power. The school, marking its first day back for most students, dismissed at 1 p.m. as scheduled.
“We just kind of went with it and made the best of it and had a great first day,” said Principal Chris Segrell.
Four Westside schools were in the outage area — two elementary buildings, the high school and the middle school.
Peggy Rupprecht, a district spokeswoman, said Westside decided to keep open the two elementary schools, Sunset Hills and Swanson, because students were scheduled to attend all day. The district was adjusting activities as needed to account for the lack of power.
Westside Middle School and Westside High School both had a split schedule for opening day.
Since the district didn't know when power might be restored, it finished the morning session but canceled the afternoon session at both schools. Parents were notified through the district's automated telephone system.
At the middle school, that meant seventh-graders continued the morning as scheduled.
But eighth-graders, scheduled to come for the afternoon, got to stay home.
Only freshmen were scheduled to attend the high school Wednesday. Those with last names falling in the first half of the alphabet finished out the morning. But those with names in the last half of the alphabet stayed home in the afternoon.
After-school activities were held as scheduled, and a full day of school is on for today.