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LASM welcomes hundreds of students despite days-long power outage

1 year 3 months 4 weeks ago Saturday, December 17 2022 Dec 17, 2022 December 17, 2022 9:26 PM December 17, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Power went out at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum Thursday afternoon when an Entergy utility cable failed, but they still made it their mission to serve over three hundred students. 

"We were in a staff meeting, and we discovered the power just went out," Serena Pandos, executive director and president of the museum, said.

Pandos says there are a lot of concerns, including the lack of climate control presenting potential problems like tarnishing ancient artifacts inside the museum. 

Crews with Entergy worked to get a giant generator operating to give the museum partial power. The museum staff had some big decisions to make. 

"We had several hundred children book for museum tours and hands-on activities that very next day," Pandos said.

LASM had enough power to entertain the students without it causing any real problems. Over 300 elementary students from neighboring parishes, came to the museum Friday.

"We were just determined that we were gonna have a good day, that we were gonna make it a great day," Nita Mitchell, educational director, said.

The Science Wing, the Planetarium and elevators were not operational during their visit, but using natural light, they had students fill certain rooms to take part in education art activities.

They toured exhibits like the Triceratops, and even took an extra spooky visit to see the museum's ancient mummy — one of the few of its kind in the country. 

Saturday afternoon, utility power still wasn't restored. Entergy crews once again filled River Road next to the museum downtown, working to get it fixed. They said part of what made this particular job so difficult was that the faulty utility wire was underground. 

Another day without power presented other challenges. This time, the museum was expecting over twelve hundred visitors for its annual "A Very Merry Museum" event. This time, a larger crowd, a sleepless staff and safety concerns caused them to postpone it. 

Pandos was upset to see some still showing up for the event.

"We had two school buses outside this morning from a parish waiting in line to get in, so you know, it hurts," she said.

They weren't the only ones disappointed. The Allen family traveled downtown after wanting to visit the museum for some time and was unfortunately turned away. 

"We came here to see the museum... and play fun activities," said the family's two girls. 

The museum still gave them some Christmas cheer with goodies that would've been given out during the event. Over fifty hours without power, and still the museum's team was able to fill faces with some smiles. 

Entergy says that cable is now fixed as of Saturday night, and the museum once again has completely restored its energy.

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