A widespread power outage briefly threw the University into disarray Saturday morning.
At roughly 10:45 a.m., students, faculty and staff across the University reported that the lights and Wifi had gone out and the central power systems had appeared to fail. The impact of the outage was widespread, affecting areas ranging from the Bass and Sterling Libraries, to dining halls and classrooms where final exams were in progress.
Associate Vice President for Facilities John Bollier and Yale Director of Emergency Management Maria Bouffard could not be reached for comment Saturday morning.
As of 11:50 a.m., some power had appeared to be restored in select dining halls and libraries. Shortly after 12:15 p.m., Yale Chief Information Officer Len Peters told the News all the data centers are fine.
“We know that the whole University went down around quarter to 11 and all of a sudden it went black — the lights went out, the Wifi went out, everything went out,” Stu Comen, first cook in Silliman College said, as he scrambled eggs over a gas-powered stove.
He added that in Branford and Saybrook, there were reports of employees stuck in an elevator and said emergency fireman were on their way to rescue the staff.
Fire trucks were seen across campus in locations ranging from the Commons Rotunda to Linsly-Chittenden Hall.
Students interviewed characterized the timing of the outage, on the second day of the finals period, as highly inconvenient as they studied for exams or tried to submit final papers.
“We cleared both the buildings, so nobody is here,” said a library security officer, who declined to provide their name because they were not authorized to speak to the press. “Half of New Haven appears to be out — they say it is a New Haven outage.”
However, one fire fighter en route to Silliman dining hall, who had been called due to a medical emergency, said he believed the outage mainly affected the Yale campus.
In the dark of the empty Bass library, James Barile ’18 scrambled to submit an application that he said was due in an hour. However, with only 15 minutes of battery left of his computer, he said the timing of the power outage was particularly inconvenient.
“I was in one of the study rooms working and all of the lights went out,” Andi Peng ’18 said. “Everyone was kind of confused, came out of their study rooms, walked around and asked people what was going on, no one knew.”
At 11:46 a.m., Master of Ezra Stiles college Stephen Pitti sent an email to members of the college reassuring them that the outage was being addressed by the University.
“We are aware the power is out on campus — the University is working on fixing the problem,” he wrote in the message. “Please stay-tuned for an update from the University about the situation.”
As of 12:08 p.m., some residential colleges, including Ezra Stiles, reported that their power had been restored. Still, colleges such as Trumbull were reported to be out of hot food.