The Collegian
Saturday, February 24, 2024

Failed power lines cause string of power outages across campus

<p>Heilman Dining Center, one of the buildings affected by a power outage on campus, is pictured dark and without air conditioning on Wednesday.</p>

Heilman Dining Center, one of the buildings affected by a power outage on campus, is pictured dark and without air conditioning on Wednesday.

Editor's note: Cynthia Price is the director of media and public relations, not the interim director. This article has been since updated. 

Recent power outages on campus were caused by failed power lines from a main power feeder, University Communications said in an email sent to all faculty, staff and students Wednesday.

Lora Robins (LoRo) Court, Gray Court, Heilman Dining Center, Wilton Center and the university Post Office lost power around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning.

"Crews continue to work to correct the source of the power line failure that occurred early [Wednesday] morning," University Communications said in an email. 

The affected buildings had only emergency lighting, fire warning and suppression capabilities Wednesday. The dining hall opened for limited hours throughout Wednesday.

The post office was unable to function as it normally does because of the power outage, Carlisa Crutchfield, a senior service specialist, said. The computers used to alert students if their package arrives were not turning on.

“We have little slips and basically we’re going to have to assign each package a location, put the box number and the student’s name on it [if a generator was not provided soon],” Crutchfield said. 

Some students in Gray Court tried to finish their homework using the flashlight on their phones after the power went out, Charles Simmonds, RC‘20, said.

“The struggle was figuring out how to charge our phones to set alarms for the morning,” Simmonds said.

In LoRo, apart from the lack of light, there was no air circulating or warm water, Lee Tyler, WC‘21, said.

As Wednesday reached a high of 89 degrees, the walls and light fixtures inside Gray Court started to collect moisture, resident Russell Cooper, RC‘20, said. 

“There’s going to be a lot of mold in Gray after this," he said.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

In a third update email that was sent to students around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, University Communications stated that generators were enroute for LoRo and Gray Court, and the installation should have occurred by mid-morning Thursday.

"Once the power is restored, residents are asked to close their windows so that the buildings will cool faster," University Communications said. 

UR provided cots Wednesday evening in the Westhampton Living Room for students who were not comfortable in their rooms.

“My room feels like a rainforest,” Cooper said.

In an update email sent to the university community Thursday afternoon around 4:30 p.m., facilities was still working to fully and permanently restore power to all impacted buildings.

The dining hall is able to operate on regular service hours, but disruption to power would continue to occur, according to University Communications.

Cynthia Price, director of media and public relations, said UR would replace the underground cable that failed on Wednesday. In the meantime, facilities is repairing the older cable she said.

"Early next week [facilities] will install the new cable and bring everybody back online," Price said. "Facilities is working very hard to get this cleared up as quickly as possible."

For the latest updates related to the power outage, visit

Contact news writer Victoria Davis at

Support independent student media

You can make a tax-deductible donation by clicking the button below, which takes you to our secure PayPal account. The page is set up to receive contributions in whatever amount you designate. We look forward to using the money we raise to further our mission of providing honest and accurate information to students, faculty, staff, alumni and others in the general public.

Donate Now