Damaged transformer sparks campus wide power outage

Jessica Guerrucci — Managing Editor
Tamonda Griffiths Editor-in-Chief

At approximately 3:30 p.m. much of the university was left without power.

According to a campus wide statement sent out by the Patrick Dilger, director of Integrated Communications & Marketing, the outage was “apparently due to a transformer issue at the intersection of Fitch and Wintergreen.”

“The original cause was not us, it’s not on campus,” said Mark Rozewski, executive vice president for Finance and Administration.

Rozewski said the incident was not isolated to Southern, however, the return of power to parts of the campus was “spotty.” He said the power company, United Illuminating, claimed that power should have been restored to campus shortly,  however, the outage continued.

In a second statement sent by Dilger about an hour after the outage began, he said, “repairs to a damaged transformer at the corner of Fitch Street and Wintergreen Avenue may take several hours,” and all evening classes would be canceled.

Before the update was sent, there was some confusion as to what had caused the accident. Public health major Shanae Grant, sophomore, said she heard the cause of the power outage was a car accident. Though a car crash did occur simultaneously, it had nothing to do with the outage.

Biology major, Karleita Cooper, a sophomore, and chemistry major with a concentration in biology, Emmanuella Andoh, a sophomore, said they were in a lecture hall in Morrill Hall when the power went out.

“Our class doesn’t have windows, so it was like pitch black,” said Cooper “and our teacher told us we had to get out of the class.”

Cooper said that due to the lack of windows in her classroom she was scared and confused. She said she was “appreciative” that her professor allowed them to leave class shortly after.

Although the outage occurred approximately 3:30 p.m., students were left wondering what had occurred and whether classes would be canceled.

“The delayed time was like, I don’t know if it was caught, I don’t know if they knew what was going on, but I felt like it should have been faster because everybody was confused,” said Cooper.

Students were informed evening classes were officially canceled 4:42 p.m.

According to University Chief of Police Joseph Dooley, the decision to close the university for the evening was based on the fact that “emergency power only goes for 90 minutes.”

“The switches at Lot 5 and the energy center have to be reset,” said Dooley.

Power was restored to the university at 6:55 p.m.

Photo credit: Jessica Guerrucci


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