Another electrical failure hit an already darkened Corona del Mar High School on Thursday as teachers and administrators held an emergency staff meeting at a church across the street.
The problem was linked to a Tuesday night power surge that knocked out the school's electricity just a week before final exams and that will keep the campus doors shut to students through Monday.
Southern California Edison workers were at the school trying to fix the original problem when an underground cable failed about 11:19 a.m., sending smoke wafting through the campus and bringing out fire engines, Edison spokesman Dave Barron said. No one was hurt.
Tuesday night's outage affected 2,900 customers--most of whom regained power within an hour. Thursday's problem did not cause an extensive power outage but will set back the repair work somewhat, Barron said.
"We were almost ready for lunch, and the lights went out over there," Assistant Principal MaryAnn Archbold said. "We all started laughing hysterically, thinking, 'Are we a jinx or something?' "
School staffers were meeting in part to decide how to handle rescheduling of classes and exams for the students, who are forced to sit home during days normally scheduled for exam review.
The school will delay finals one week, and parents should receive a letter by today explaining the changes, Archbold said.
Regular classes will be held all next week to prepare for final, and Jan. 29--which had been set aside as a grading day when students could stay home--will also be a regular school day, Archbold said.
Final exams will be held Jan. 30, 31 and Feb. 1.