Campus loses power in 30-minute outage

By Keith Allen

Arizona Daily Wildcat

About 20,000 Tucson Electric Power Company customers including the UA experienced a 30-minute power outage yesterday morning.

Jay Gonzales, a Tucson Electric Power Company spokesman, said between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. yesterday power was out in a widespread area of town.

"This is a big one because it affected a transmission line to a large portion of town," Gonzales said.

Tucson Electric Power Company does not know the exact cause of the problem at this time, Gonzales said, but they do know there was a problem with a circuit breaker at the DeMoss-Petrie Substation at Grant Road and I-10.

The outage affected eight substations in the Tucson area, Gonzales said. The affected area stretched from the Tucson Mountains to Country Club Road and from Prince Road to 36th Street, Gonzales said.

Gonzales said not all customers were affected in that area.

Power was restored by 9 a.m. after the company isolated the problem and rerouted power to the area, Gonzales said.

The UA receives its power from the Tucson Substation at 5th Street and Main Avenue downtown. Because the substations are connected through a grid, Gonzales said, a "domino effect" took place, cutting off power to others along the grid.

Denny Hawkins, UA shop superintendent, said that in some buildings power switches and fire alarms had to be reset. A few people had to be rescued from elevators that had stopped during the outage.

University Medical Center was not affected by the outage because it has a backup power system, said George Humphrey, associate director of public affairs.

He said that only the medical center's parking garage, which lost power to its lights, was affected.

"There was a half a second blip on the computer and the lights dimmed briefly," Humphrey said.

The Center for Computing and Information Technology was also affected by the outage, said Craig Cook, principal computing manager of computing operations.

By afternoon, CCIT had all systems running normally, including financial services and student services, Cook said.

"Whenever there is a power outage, we have to get things up and running again," Cook said. "We must reconstruct files and find out if we have any other problems."

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