First day of school postponed due to Hurricane Irene (Amy Farb)

All Howard County public schools were closed on Monday, August 29, 2011, which was to be the first day of the 2011-2012 school year. The closings were due to county-wide power outages caused by Hurricane Irene, a category 1 hurricane that hit Maryland on Saturday evening and lasted into the early hours of Sunday morning.

Though some areas of Howard County were largely unaffected by Hurricane Irene, some Centennial students’ neighborhoods sustained damage, and many lost power in their homes. Because of this, many were not surprised to learn that school had been cancelled.

“I live right next to the school and I knew the power was out at CHS, so I assumed they were going to cancel school,” said senior Hee Seung Song.

Some were worried about how the school’s new additions, such as the dance studio and the renovated parking lot, would hold up in the storm, but Song reported that there was no obvious damage.

“I drove past [Centennial] yesterday and everything seemed fine,” he claimed.

It is unclear whether schools will be open by tomorrow, Tuesday, August 30, 2011. According to the Howard County Public School System Public Information Office, Howard County school officials reported that 27 schools are still without power, and BGE cannot guarantee that power will be restored by tomorrow morning. County crews are also still clearing debris and downed trees left in the hurricane’s wake.

EDIT (4:31PM): Centennial High School, along with other Howard County schools that have power, will be open tomorrow, Tuesday, August 30, 2011. Check out http://www.hcpss.org/news/releases2011_08aug.shtml#news2011_21 for a list of schools without power.

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