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Power restored at James Island bus lot after drivers warn of "dangerous" conditions

James Island Bus Lot (WCIV).png

Power was restored to a James Island bus lot on Camp Road Tuesday after pleas from concerned school bus drivers.

It happened less than 24 hours after ABC News 4 asked officials with the Charleston County School District and Durham School Services about the issue.

"It's pitch black," said Sara Houl, a school bus driver for Durham School Services, before the issue was fixed. "Very, very dangerous."

Drivers told ABC News 4 they bad to use their cell phones for pre-route bus inspections for at least a week. The lot sits in the parking lot of the closed Fort Johnson Middle School, which is being demolished.

Officials with Durham School Services say construction workers accidentally cut a power line while digging last week, and that wasn't the only problem.

Drivers say a side effect is having less room to maneuver school buses around the lot.

"They put all the fencing up so there's barely any room in and out any more," Houl said.

Demolition crews installed the fence for safety reasons, officials say.

"The buses are right on top of each other. The parking's hard. It's just dangerous like first thing in the morning like this," Houl added.

A motion to move the bus lot to James Island Elementary failed in a 4-4 tie at a November 27th school board meeting.

"My side prevailed," said CCSD School Board Member Kevin Hollinshead. "The issue was dead."

Hollinshead was absent from that vote, but he said he planned to vote against moving the bus lot to that location anyway.

"It is a safety concern. I'll make the other board members aware of those concerns and see what we can do about them," he said of Monday's CCSD School Board meeting.

Officials with the Charleston County School District confirmed efforts to restore power to the lot. As of Tuesday morning, a generator with an additional spot light was added to the original lights.

"We get their kids to school," Houl said. "I we deserve to be in a safe environment just like they would want their kids to be safe."
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(Correction: A previous version of this story said there was a motion before the Charleston County School Board to move the bus lot in question to "Fort Johnson Elementary School. The motion was actually to move the bus lot to James Island Elementary School. This story has been updated to reflect the change.)

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