Texas community lights up gym using cellphones after power outage at high school graduation ceremony

Thrall community turns on gym using cellphones as power goes out at Thrall High School graduation (Courtesy: Kirsten Anderson)

THRALL, Texas (KXANStrong to severe storms swept through central Texas counties on Friday afternoon and evening, around the same time many schools had graduation plans.

One of those graduation ceremonies was for Thrall High School in Williamson County. The graduation ceremony, which was only open to families and close friends of graduates, was actually moved inside the gym because of bad weather.

The night quickly changed once the gym took a power hit from the storms.

But in the dark, the Thrall community still found a way to support its graduates, who have already had a difficult school year due to the pandemic.

In images shared by participant Kristen Anderson, graduates and the public could be seen using their cell phone flashlights to light up the gymnasium during the graduation ceremony.

“It might not be an ideal graduation ceremony, but I’m so moved by the school community coming together to really ‘light up’ the room for these graduates,” Anderson told KXAN.

Meanwhile, severe storms on Friday night also cut power to tens of thousands of homes in surrounding counties. Teams in Bastrop, Travis and Williamson counties are currently working to restore service.

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