A power outage stopped electricity recently to four buildings at the College of Southern Idaho. According to Tetona Dunlap of Magic Valley, the outage affected databases and computer systems across the campus. Students and staff were unable to access e-mail and network printers, and staff was unable to access financial aid data. Surprisingly, the source of such major damage was not a menacing force of nature, but was, in fact, a squirrel that managed to get into equipment.
Others have offered Dunlap varying perspectives. Lynette Berriochoa, a spokeswoman from Idaho Power, told Dunlap, “…The dispatcher said it could have been an animal or branch, but didn’t have specifics. Because it happened in a split second and didn’t cause an outage on our end, we honestly don’t know what might have made it flicker.” Doug Maughan, a spokesman for the College of Southern Idaho says that the air conditioning was knocked out and the rooms that housed the equipment overheated.
The school has performed a temporary fix, shipping data storage components over the weekend. Maughan promises that a larger fix is coming in the near future.
Whether it was a squirrel that wreaked so much havoc or something else it to blame, one thing is clear: power outages cause a great deal of damage and inconvenience, and they can make life very difficult. Minuteman Power Protection offers solutions for uninterruptable power supplies, surge protection, and power management. Endeavor UPS for Campuses offers the ultimate value and protection for students, faculties, and facilities, helping to prevent such a situation from happening. It is important for universities, businesses, and other organizations to prepare themselves for the possibility of a power outage and be aware of the fact that a power outage could put them out of commission, slowing operations, damaging their image (as in the case of the SuperDome), and generally causing a headache.