Updated: Napa High evacuated due to chlorine smell

Power outage Tuesday night triggered mishap
2014-04-30T08:28:00Z 2014-05-01T13:48:19Z Updated: Napa High evacuated due to chlorine smellKERANA TODOROV Napa Valley Register
April 30, 2014 8:28 am  • 

UPDATED (3:45 p.m., Wednesday): Students at Napa and Valley Oak high schools were sent home Wednesday morning after excessive chlorine ended up into the swimming pool. A power outage the night before caused pool equipment to malfunction.

Maintenance workers smelled chlorine in the pool area around 6:30 a.m. and called 911, a fire official said.

As a precaution, administrators called off school for the day. Arriving students were sent home, while earlier arrivals were sent to Memorial Stadium to be picked up by their parents, officials reported.

At 8:30 a.m., the normally bustling Napa High campus of nearly 2,000 students and staff was as quiet as a tomb. Some 200 students from Valley Oak were also sent home.

The Napa Valley Unified School District’s Education Center, located adjacent to the pool, was closed and most staff were sent home, the district said. All other district schools remained open.

Three employees of the Napa Valley Unified School District were sent to Queen of the Valley Hospital as a precaution for possible chlorine exposure, said Mark Morrison, the district’s director of secondary curriculum and instruction. No students were injured.

Napa High’s sporting events, including a track meet, badminton game and a softball game, were canceled for the day and will be rescheduled, the district said.

Morrison said the district put up news of the campus closure on Facebook and Twitter and made robocalls to the homes of students.

The Napa Fire Department and CalFire/Napa County Fire’s Hazmat specialists came to investigate the incident. Yellow caution tape was put up around the campus pool.

Tuesday night’s power outage affected about 3,000 customers, including the Napa High campus where it disrupted the pool’s chlorination equipment, fire officials said.

The outage started at about 7:30 p.m. when power lines fell on Highway 29, south of First Street because of an “equipment failure,” said Pacific Gas and Electric representative Paul Moreno.

A 1994 Toyota pickup driver traveling southbound on Highway 29 ran into the power lines, according to the California Highway Patrol. The driver was not injured.

Highway 29 was shut down for about 90 minutes as PG&E crews made repairs. Freeway Drive was also closed while repairs were being made.

About 1,000 customers had their power restored by 10 p.m. All power was restored by 11 p.m.

An earlier version of this story characterized the chlorine problem as a leak. This was inaccurate. Also, district offices were not reopened.

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(4) Comments

  1. JSwift
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    JSwift - April 30, 2014 5:46 pm
    "A 1994 Toyota pickup driver traveling southbound on Highway 29 ran into the power lines, according to the California Highway Patrol. The driver was not injured."

    I think that you mean the pickup ran into the pole. Can't imagine the driver hitting the pole and causing so much damage without being injured?
    Glad that everyone is OK
  2. Loco Yokel
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    Loco Yokel - April 30, 2014 10:09 pm
    I was at work a couple of blocks from the high school this afternoon and noticed a weird ring around the sun. I assume it was related to this incident. If so it kind of makes you wonder about the scale of the exposure
  3. glenroy
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    glenroy - May 01, 2014 5:47 am
    ...yeah and I saw flying wedge over Mt George...
  4. napa1957
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    napa1957 - May 01, 2014 9:23 am
    Reminded me of the 80"s when one of my kids was at NHS. Some very intelligent adults decided to put a "student smoking area" right next to the pool! We were a Swim Club family, and knew that one of the more toxic chemical mixes was chlorine and tobacco smoke. Always wondered why they did that...
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