The second weekend in October brought unprecedented darkness to Liberty’s campus. A power outage stretched from South Tower to Green Hall at approximately 12 a.m. Friday. The lights eventually came back at around 8:15 that morning, a delay that cancelled the first classes of the day.
According to Senior Vice President of Facilities Management Charles Spence, the cause of the power outage early Friday morning was due to a failure in the main feeder cable from the Appalachian Electric Power Company (AEP).
After an effort to fix the shortage that occurred Friday, a cable was installed, but the cable failed again 36 hours later around 8 p.m. Saturday night. The second outage lasted until 2 a.m. Sunday. Due to the timing of the second outage, many students on main campus were left with no access to lights and internet for the entire evening.
Backup generators went into effect, only acting to power life-safety systems on campus.
“The job of the backup generators are small and only related to what is code required, which is emergency lights, fire alarm systems and life safety systems. Life safety generators only cover life safety systems,” Spence said.
According to Spence, AEP has been working since 2 a.m. Sunday, looking for new parts and creating a schedule when those parts will come in and when they can install the new cable. Spence said a meeting Sunday night between senior leadership would decide when a planned power outage would occur as they wait for AEP to install a permanent cable solution.
On Monday, Liberty University Police Department tweeted out that all power on the main campus would be shut down at 10:15 p.m., instructing all students that all non-residential buildings would lock down at 10 p.m.
Due to the power outages, questions about student safety arose as many students walked on campus with little to no lighting provided.
During such outages, Spence encourages students to stay in their dorms and remain calm.
“When power outages occur after the daylight hours, there are a lot of locations where we don’t have good lighting, like on the roadways and sidewalks,” Spence said. “The best thing for students to do in this situation is to get to a location like their room and sit tight.”
Keep following the Champion for more updates on the recent power outages and what AEP is doing to bring a permanent solution.
Hattie Troutman is the Editor-in-Chief. Follow her on Twitter at @hattrout.
Savanna Graves is the News Editor. Follow her on Twitter at @SavannaLeigh.