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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Storm causes power outage on York Hill Campus, traps student in elevator for half-hour

Jack Spiegel
Hamden firefighters rescue a student from the K wing elevator in Quinnipiac University’s Crescent residence hall just before 6:15 p.m. Friday amid a storm-induced power outage.

A severe thunderstorm Friday evening left two residence halls on Quinnipiac University’s York Hill Campus without power for nearly three hours.

Representatives from United Illuminating, the electric utility company that serves the campus, restored power to the Crescent and Westview dorm buildings just after 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 8. 

A thunderstorm triggered blackouts in Quinnipiac University’s Crescent and Westview dorm buildings just before 5:45 p.m. Friday. (Haley Ruccio)

By this point, the two residence halls had been without power for nearly three hours after a massive storm system in the area triggered blackouts on the York Hill Campus at approximately 5:45 p.m.

The initial outage — which did not affect the Rocky Top Student Center or the Eastview residence hall — left one student trapped in an elevator car in Crescent for almost 30 minutes. 

Hamden firefighters rescued the student from the K wing elevator just before 6:15 p.m. Friday. Emergency crews cleared and deactivated every other elevator in the building by 6:30 p.m.

Quinnipiac officials did not notify students about the ongoing blackout until nearly an hour after the two residence halls first lost power. Then, at 6:37 p.m., the QU Alert System issued a university-wide notification about the outage via email, text message and phone call.

“United Illuminating has been notified,” the alert read. “Please refrain from using the elevators until further notice.”

The Office of Housing then issued an update on the outage via email just before 7:15 p.m.

“Please be advised that there is currently a power outage on the York Hill Campus,” the email said. “The Facilities Department is aware, and crews are arriving to make repairs.”

Celebratory cheers erupted across the York Hill Campus when the lights in the Crescent and Westview buildings flickered back on just after 8:30 p.m. Friday.

Less than 10 minutes later, the Rocky Top Student Center — which, up until that point, had not experienced significant power loss — went dark for several seconds. Minutes later, it happened again. 

Many Quinnipiac University students waited in the York Hill Campus’ Rocky Top Student Center until after 8:30 p.m. Friday amid a three-hour power outage in two residence halls. (Haley Ruccio)

In the six-minute span between 8:40 p.m. and 8:46 p.m., the Rocky Top Student Center lost power four separate times. 

Each blackout lasted only a few seconds, though neither Crescent nor Westview lost power during this time. Further information on these brief outages was not immediately available.

The Office of Housing notified students via email just after 9 p.m. Friday that officials had restored power to the York Hill Campus.

It is still unclear what initially triggered the three-hour blackout. John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations, told The Chronicle Friday evening that university officials were still investigating why the campus’ generators did not function as expected.

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