Preliminary reports show that around 4:30 p.m., the Residential Quad dorms, Rush Rhees Library, the ITS center, Dewey, Meliora, and the Frederick Douglass Building lost power.

Facilities said the problem was a malfunctioning transformer inside the Frederick Douglass Building. However, there were other issues. Three fire trucks arrived outside Frederick Douglass and six firefighters along with Facilities employees ran inside using a service door.

“[The firefighters] are here because we lost electricity,” Facilities Area Manager Eris Oleksyn said. “Also there is a flood.”

Oleksyn declined to elaborate further on the nature of the flood. He did, however, point to a grating behind Frederick Douglass building, which showed signs of flooding.

Associate Vice President in charge of Public Relations Robert Kraus later said the flooding caused the transformer to fail. “That area for some reason was flooded with water,” he said. “This, in turn, tripped circuits for other River Campus buildings, but not for the Medical Center.”

Students all over campus were affected by the power outage.

“I was in the middle of a experiment when it happened. Now I have to reschedule with the subjects,” senior Rachel Greenstein said. “[It is] just a pain.”

Many students also were affected because they could not use their Student ID cards for services like printing and dining.

“Every two minutes someone comes up and asks, ‘Can I use my card to buy this or that? Does the coffee machine work?’ And I tell them, well, no. There is no power,” Java City employee and senior Keron Twum said.

There have been no reports of people stuck in elevators inside Rush Rhees.

Kraus said that most affected buildings had their power restored by 5:30 p.m.

The biggest remaining problem is finding the cause of the problem. “The big question is about the source of the water that flooded the transformer room,” Kraus said.

This situation is still under investigation.



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