A short in an underground cable left residents of Smith-Adams Hall without electricity for more than 12 hours Tuesday. Temporary repairs restored power to the building at about 6:30 p.m., said John Delony, director of Residence Life. Physical Resources and AEP electricians replaced damaged cables and cut power for one hour Wednesday to make the new cables live.
“[The cause] was probably age, I’m guessing,” said Gary Blair, AEP manager of external affairs. “If somebody had dug it up, we would know. With old underground cable, you never know when it’s going to go bad.”
Electricians noticed several other cables and feeds in need of replacement while working to restore Smith-Adams’ electricity; but Blair said those projects will wait until Summer 2010 to inconvenience students as little as possible.
Jae Webb, resident director of Smith-Adams, sent an e-mail to Smith-Adams residents at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, explaining that a short in an underground wire was to blame for the outage. He reported the problem at 5:45 a.m. AEP representatives arrived at 7 a.m. and began construction on the Northwest end of the parking lot.
Before the power was restored Tuesday evening, Lacy Rountree, sophomore art education major from Granbury, and had planned to spend Tuesday night elsewhere. Rountree now must endure the high-decibel noise coming from the construction outside her window.
“I think a lot of other people were frustrated. This one guy I talked to had $100 worth of food in the refrigerator,” Rountree said.
Others, who spend most of the day away from their room, experienced no inconvenience. Travis Meadors, sophomore advertising and public relations major from Burnet, had to charge his computer and iPhone on campus, but said most of his electronic belongings are battery-powered.
“It wasn’t a big deal at all,” said. “I wasn’t even in my room for most of the day.”