Wind causes power outages

Graphic by Christi Lazutkin | Mercury Staff.



Several areas on the north side of campus experienced power outages Tuesday evening.

Residence Hall West, Dining Hall West, Synergy Park North and SP2 were among the areas affected on April 4, in addition to residential neighborhoods in that area. Kelly Kinnard, director of physical plant services, said he heard reports of five to six outages varying in time Tuesday evening.

Oncor Electric Delivery Company, UTD’s electric provider, set up a construction pole with a temporary arm, and high winds caused the wires on the arm to touch, resulting in the outages on campus.

Biology freshman Hanna Patel had sat down to eat in the dining hall when the power went out. She said people stopped getting food because everything was shut down.

“The lights just went off and they closed off the dining hall,” she said. “And I think the emergency lights came on, but they (were) … not helpful, so they opened the doors, the back doors, to let … air in and to light it up.”

Kinnard said although outages happen occasionally, they’re usually very short, caused by animals climbing the poles or a vehicle hitting it, and an outage like this one is rare.

“As you can well imagine, there’s a lot of miles associated with trying to find the right problem,” Kinnard said. “So, it took a while to patrol the entire feeder, but they finally found it. They changed out the arm to a permanent arm and that kept them from swinging. That solved the problem.”



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