Editor's Note: This article was updated to include the cause of the outage.
35 University Forest Apartments lost power around 3:40 p.m. yesterday, said Mark Beatty, manager of engineering services.
Beatty received a call from the University of Richmond Police Department because the fire alarm panels in each apartment block reported a loss of power and started using the backup battery, he said.
The blocks of apartments that were affected by the outage were 164, 166, 168, 170 and 172, Beatty said.
Junior Kate Irwin saw a flash of light and heard a loud noise coming from the utility pole in the area behind her UFA as she was watching TV with her apartment-mates, she said. However, she was not affected by the outage, she said.
“It scared all of us,” she said.
Senior Ellie Ronan was in the middle of a Zoom class when she heard a switch turn off, and the lights of her UFA turned off, she said.
“[The power outage] was definitely kind of annoying and especially because not all of the UFAs went out, just a couple,” Ronan said. “A couple of our neighbors didn't lose power. It was just weird.”
Ronan had to continue her work from her car’s WiFi hotspot, she said.
The power was restored at 5:57 pm, Beatty said.
“Two hours isn't a terrible time to get the power restored on an outage,” he said.
Beatty observed that a fuse on a utility pole behind the 600 and 474 blocks blew up, he said.
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“It's a little bit difficult for us in [University Facilities] to manage and handle that because it's really out of our control to some degree,” Beatty said. “The University of Richmond is a key customer for Dominion with the size of the campus and the ridiculous, huge electric bill that we pay monthly. But the response is still only but so fast as Dominion can dispatch people out here.”
In an email Thursday, Beatty wrote that Dominion confirmed a blown arrestor on the utility pole located between UFA apartment blocks 162 and 474 caused the outage.
In Beatty’s experience, outages like the one experienced yesterday happen two to three times per year, he said.
Managing editor Emma Davis contributed to reporting.
Contact news editor Jackie Llanos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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