With power slowly returning to Manchester — including most township schools — it is possible that students may be back in class next week.
JCP&L reports that electricity was restored to about 8,500 of its Manchester customers on Thursday, leaving about 7,500 in the dark. All schools in Manchester except for Ridgeway Elementary School now have power, according to Superintendent of Schools David Trethaway.
"We're trying to shoot for Monday (to reopen)," Trethaway said.
Except for some fallen trees, school buildings within the township appear to be in good condition inside and out, the superintendent said.
If things go according to plan, staff will work to ready the buildings over the weekend and school officials will announce the reopening.
Lakehurst Elementary School could open next week, provided the building has power, said Superintendent of Schools Jill Dobrowansky. About half of Lakehurst remains in the dark, according to JCP&L.
Should power return, "a final determination will be made on Sunday after I speak with local officials regarding the progress of removing downed trees and power lines," she said. "I need to ensure that our students can safely get to school since we are a walking district."
Electricity was restored to Manchester Township Elementary School Thursday morning, allowing officials to use the building as a warming station where powerless residents could charge their small electronics, warm up and have coffee and snacks.
Trethaway said that the power outages should not affect the anticipated post-Thanksgiving reopening of Manchester Township Middle School. Restoration efforts at the building have been ongoing after mold was discovered there in August.