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Campus, towns go black during storm

By Kelly Mayo
Editor

Samantha Langley
Staff writer

January 24, 2013


Photo by Samantha Langley
Students move into the UC lobby from the cafeteria in order to eat their dinners while the lights were out.

UNCP and the towns of Lumberton, Pembroke and Maxton received a one-two punch of a rainstorm and power outage on Jan. 17.

The power went out at about 6:30 p.m., as the rain grew heavier and the wind gusted.

The power came back at about 7:45 p.m.

UNCP reaction

According to Scott Bigelow, public communications specialist for the University, many people were trapped in elevators. However, police were able to get them out.

Fire alarms across campus went off as well and the emergency lights came on. "We were lucky that Facility Operations keep the emergency lights up to date. They all reportedly worked well," Bigelow said.

Classes that were scheduled for Thursday night were cancelled.

Students in the University Center received a shock when the lights went out.

The fire alarms sounded and a voice came out of the intercom saying "an emergency has been detected. Please exit immediately."

However, despite these warnings many students stayed in the UC.

Some students who had been eating dinner in the cafeteria brought their plates out into the lounge area.

Many students tried to stay dry in the overhang of the building outside of the Center to avoid the rain.

Freshman Yasmine "Yazzy"Butler, a guard on the Lady Braves basketball team, had just finished practice and was hanging out in the UC when the power went out.

"I was singing with my teammates. We were singing gospel music," she said.

In the dorms, many students were hanging out in the hallways trying to find non-electrical activities.

University police drove around campus to assure student safety until the power returned.

A faculty percussion recital that had been scheduled for Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m. was rescheduled for Jan. 18 at 5 p.m.

Causes

According to The Robesonian, the power went out twice. The newspaper reported that, according to the Lumber River Electric Membership Corporation, the first outage occurred when transmission equipment belonging to Progress Energy failed for reasons unknown at the Corporation's substation.

The newspaper said that LREMC's tally of people affected by the outage was 4,500, while Progress Energy's figure was 8,300.

The second outage occurred at 7:55 p.m. when a car hit a power pole, The Robesonian reported. Power was restored again at 8:43 p.m.

The second outage cut power to 1,300 people in the region, but did not affect UNCP.

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Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
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