Outage kills campus lights

A power outage cut off electricity in most buildings between North 11th and North 16th streets and West Wells and West Clybourn streets at about 6:22 p.m. Tuesday.

Megan McCarthy, spokeswoman for We Energies, an electricity and gas company servicing Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan, said the company began restoring power around 8 p.m., and by 10 p.m. electricity was fully restored.

According to Director of Facilities Services Ronald Ripley, the buildings that lost power get their electricity from a high voltage underground cable.

McCarthy said a defective circuit breaker in the underground cable broke and buildings being serviced from that cable lost power.

Raynor Library, Cobeen Residence Hall, Schroeder Residence Hall, Lalumiere Hall, Cudahy Hall, Helfaer Theater and Johnston Hall were among the affected buildings.

"It's unfortunate it came at kind of a disruptive time for students who are living on campus," Ripley said. "Anything that is physical in nature can from time to time have a problem. It's not an unheard of occurrence. We would hope that these are few and far between."

Residents of Schroeder Hall, which lost power, were not allowed back in until power was restored and proper safety precautions — like sliding IDs through the electronic system at the desk — could be taken.

Raynor library staff had to man the turnstiles and check IDs manually because the electronic safety system was out of power.

"I was in the middle of scanning and (the document) got lost," said sophomore Roxy Puno, an exercise science and physical therapy double major who was at Raynor when the building lost power. "I'm just waiting, seeing if I can recover it."

Reference Librarian Pat Berge said the first thing she and her staff did after the power outage was to show people how to recover files. Afterward, she directed people to the Memorial Library, which still had electricity, and helped people with print resources.

Facilities services contacted We Energies immediately and checked campus areas to determine and correct the problem. The Department of Public Safety was swarmed with phone calls at the time of the incident.

Marquette was one of four We Energies customers that experienced a power outage Tuesday night.