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Lights out? Cause of campus power outage still unclear

February 14th, 2013 Posted in Opinion

By Shayna Marcure

LOGAN — Concession gates down, computer labs closed, classes dismissed — all thanks to the power outages that plagued Utah State University Wednesday  morning.

At approximately 9 a.m., a fault occurred in USU’s electrical distribution system. According to Patrick Williams, director of internal public relations at USU, only five buildings on campus were originally affected, including the Taggart Student Center, the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER) building, Widtsoe Hall, the Public Relations and Marketing building, and the Living Learning Community (LLC).

“A team of high-voltage electrical technicians went in and worked on the problem,” Williams said.

And the process of revamping the flawed system caused temporary power loss for multiple buildings throughout campus. No information has been provided regarding exactly which buildings were affected by the “blip,” said Williams, but at least Old Main, the business building, Merrill-Cazier Library, and the agriculture sciences (AGRS) building experienced moments of no lights, no internet, and no café.

Campus was affected by the fault for approximately three hours, and electricity was fully flowing again by noon.

Joel Bradshaw with Logan Power told the Hard News Café that city power had nothing to do with the outages on campus.

“USU has their own systems, we just supply power to their subs on the north and south ends of campus,” Bradshaw said. “It’s an internal problem with their system.”

The reason for the power outage is unclear, Williams said. “The team from facilities is continuing to investigate the cause of the fault. This is something that we can’t anticipate. It has never happened before, and we don’t think it will happen again.”


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