The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Flooding causes power outages

A water main leak in Coleman Hall led to power outages and class cancellations throughout the South Quad Wednesday evening.

The leak caused water to rise up to two feet in the basement where the mechanical and electrical gears are located, said Gary Reed, the director of Facilities, Planning and Management.

“Basically, the water got up, grounded out the electrical gear and caused the circuit failure on the high voltage feed of the campus,” Reed said.

The leak originated in the northeast corner of Coleman Hall from a 6-inch domestic water line that feeds water supply to the buildings on the South Quad.

“It’s old, worn out, rusty, dilapidated piping,” Reed said.

The flood began shortly before 3 p.m. leading to a power outage at around 3:04 p.m. in Coleman Hall and Lumpkin Hall.

“That is when we were first notified,” Reed said.

Both halls were evacuated by 3:30.

The buildings located on the South Quad are on the same power feed circuit, Reed said. This caused power outages through the rest of the residence halls and the academic buildings around the quad.

“Our electricians are busy right now trying to locate individual circuits, bringing individual buildings back up and isolating Coleman,” Reed said.

Taylor Dining was forced to open late because of the lack of power in the building.

“We were scheduled to open at 4:30 p.m. but we were not able to open until 5 p.m.,” said Vincent Morgan, the student manager of Taylor Dining. “We weren’t going to open back up at all, but when the power came back we decided to go for it.”

Rachel Unterfranz, a desk assistant at Andrews Hall and a sophomore communication disorders and sciences major, was in her room when the electricity went out.

At 4:45 p.m., Unterfranz said the power had been out since 3 p.m.

The residence hall had back-up lights at the front desk and about two located on each floor, Unterfranz said.

Andrews Hall was not evacuated.

“The (Resident Assistants) are going on continuous rounds just to make sure that nothing is happening, that there are no problems,” Unterfranz said.

Wifi was out and one of the elevators was operating on a generator for the duration of the power outages; however, many of the residents chose to use the stairs.

Kelsey Myers, a sophomore special education major and Andrews resident, said she was asleep when the electricity shut off.

“I have one flashlight but my batteries are dead so it’s not doing very good,” Myers said.

In Lawson Hall, the secretary, Elizabeth Warner, posted a sign warning residents to use the elevator at their own risk, because they “could get stuck.”

In Thomas Hall, a student was trapped in the elevator between 3:50 p.m. to 4:05 p.m. when the power was out within the building.

Tiandra Burns, a desk assistant at Lawson Hall and senior business finance major, said the power came back on at about 4:10 p.m.

They were to expect power outages throughout the evening.

“They’re shutting down the whole South Quad,” Burns said.

Every building’s power, excluding Coleman Hall, was restored by 7:30 p.m.

However, Reed was not sure when the issue would be resolved in Coleman Hall.

“We think it will be probably until Monday,” Reed said.

For updates on class schedules, students should refer to Eastern’s homepage, said the Academic Affairs office.

Alex McNamee, Emily Steele and Kayleigh Zyskowski can

be reached at 581-7942 or [email protected]

Flooding causes power outages

Flooding causes power outages

Mike Herman, a plumber, watches Al Haga, also a plumber, work on a water pump that will help to remove the 2 to 3 feet of water standing in the Coleman Hall basement. (Jordan Boner


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