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Students Speak Out Over Power Outage

by Montclarion News
power outage student center
power outage student center

The power outage occurred due to electricity leaking from a cable outside of the new Student Center ramp.
Photo Credit: Kristen Bryfogle

The University suffered a major power outage early Tuesday morning, leaving students in the dark in nearly every building on the main campus.

Shawn Connolly, Associate Vice President of Facilities, said that the outage was caused by a fault in one of the two feeders which supply power to Blanton Hall.  He explained that a fault is the result of electricity from the cable leaking into the earth. Arrangements are being made to repair the hole in the feeder, which was originally installed in 1978.

Noticing the power outage in buildings across campus, students expressed their frustration about the lack of power on social media, tagging the popular Twitter handle @montclairprobs.

According to Connolly, the process of restoring power consisted mostly of locating the fault. Because the facilties staff were dealing with the safety of students in addition to millions of dollars in electrical equipment, they took great care in going about this first step. Once the fault was found between manholes near the new ramp entrance to the Student Center, Blanton Hall was moved to the second feeder and after the 15 other feeds supplying power to the main campus were restored, the power came back on.

The entire process took about an hour and all classes beginning at 8:30 a.m. or later remained on schedule. At 7:22 a.m., an email was sent out alerting the campus community of a “major campus power outage” and at 8:14 a.m., the campus was notified that power had been fully restored.

“[Montclair State’s] electrical power distribution system is a robust system where the majority of of the campus is fed from multiple sources for redundancy. We operate the electrical distribution system with the primary objective of safety for the campus community and the material assets then reliability. We continue to monitor the health of the electrical distribution system with the primary objective of safety and the goal of preventing events in the future,” said Connolly.

According an email sent from Dr. Willard Gingerich, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, to some members of the faculty, “Some thirteen early classes were disrupted in Dickson [Hall], University [Hall] and [the] Feliciano [Business] School.”

John Delate, Director of Residence Life, said, “The power outage did affect our residential complexes on the main campus, but none on Clove Road. There have been no reported issues in the residential areas now that the power was returned.”

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