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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Power Outage 25 April

As you know, campus experienced a power outage for about 2.5 hours yesterday. I wanted to take a minute to provide you with a quick update and overview of the situation.  
At around 10:00 a.m. on Monday, April 25 there was an unexpected power outage to most of the UMD campus. Some of our community neighbors also lost power during this time.  
Our facilities team immediately made contact with MN Power.  MN Power did their best to assess the situation and work as quickly as possible to remedy it.  The original source of the outage appears to have been a fallen tree.  MN Power provided us updates throughout the morning, but we were not 100% sure of the timeline to restore power so our updates to campus were kept more general.
Campus leadership pulled together a group to assess the situation, discuss scenarios and design plans. Given that this is our last week of class and we expected a relatively short outage, the decision was made not to cancel classes at that time.  As in any situation, we continued to monitor and make adjustments as needed.  
For the most part, our backup systems worked well. Emergency generators kicked in to provide emergency lighting and mostly uninterrupted network access.  Individuals who were trapped in elevators received the notices and were able to communicate their location. Situations like this allow us to implement our operational continuity plans and identify areas for improvement.  For example, we were able to identify areas that need additional wireless coverage, and improper emergency lighting in certain areas of campus.
I want to thank you all for your patience. From Dining Services who quickly worked to adapt their menu, to Facilities Management who jumped into action, to ITSS ensuring minimal network interruption - several areas of campus demonstrated quick responsive and expertise. Many of you were able to be creative and figure out ways to still provide instruction and services.  Thank you for your efforts.  
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or one of the Vice Chancellors.
Lendley C. Black