Silver Chips Online

Second period power outage disrupts classes

Causes for power failure still unknown

By Kate Harter, Online Weekend Editor and Nitin Sukumar, Online News Editor and Copy Editor
September 13, 2006
The power and backup generators at Blair failed at 8 a.m. due to external causes that are still unknown. The outage lasted for 15 minutes, during which time students and staff were instructed to stay in their rooms. Several rooms in the building remained in complete darkness. Blair's entire first block was affected by what Building Services officer Reginald Tobin thinks "could have been a [power] substation outside."

The power outage affected several buildings on University Boulevard, leaving them without lighting or back up electricity, according to Business Manager Jim Funk. "We didn't get word back from Pepco yet," he said. "The whole block was out."

Funk stated that although the faculty at Blair has not been able to verify the cause of the outage, they believe that the outage wasn't caused by malfunction in Blair's electrical system. "We don't really know what happened, it wasn't anything in the building," he said.

Rooms and hallways without windows were subjected to total darkness during the time of the power loss.

Junior Sumih Chi was stuck in what she described as a small, dark corridor on her way to the water fountain when the lights went out. According to Chi, the emergency doors closed on either side of the water fountain. "My friend and I were in the hallway and the two emergency doors closed, so we were stuck in the middle of a dark corridor," she said. "We couldn't hear the announcement about the outage and didn't know what to do. At one point we lost each other for about two minutes and had to feel the walls until we found our way to the SGA room."

Although the lights came back on after 15 minutes and classes were able to resume, the cause of the power outage is still unknown. "I don't know [what caused the outage]," said Funk. "We haven't heard anything yet."

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/6596