Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

Upper campus sits in the dark during power outage

Swanson Commons without power. Photo by Christopher Ferman.

A power outage in Rock Island impacted parts of campus on Sept. 6. Swanson Commons, 11th Ave Flats, off-campus housing around Swanson and the Gerber Center were some of the buildings affected. 
The first report of the power outage was given to MidAmerican Energy Co. at 1:40pm. Power in the area came back online at 3:13pm.
Fire trucks and EMTs were reported at Swanson Commons. 
Hanna Johnson, sophomore, said, “I left my dorm to go to the CSL and there were a bunch of people in the lobby. There were some EMTs and the fire trucks were all outside but the doors were stuck open because they’re electric and sliding.”
Fire trucks and campus Public Safety were called to Swanson Commons by the CAs on duty, Camila Davis, senior, and Amanda Walljasper, sophomore. According to the CAs, students reported that they heard banging and yelling coming from the elevators. 
“I feel like our CA training has always taught us to stay calm in situations like this and to just help with the fire department and public safety with whatever they need so I was calm,” Davis said. “Obviously I was stressed that they were stuck in there but I knew that the best thing to do was to help with crowd control and deescalate the situation.”
Public Safety and the fire department checked all floors of the elevators and reported not finding anyone. 
An Augie Alert went out at 2:30 to quell some of the campus confusion, confirming that MidAmerican was working on the outage. 
Keri Rursch, the assistant vice president of communications and marketing at Augustana said in an email to the Observer, “The outage is due to an issue with a transformer at a substation. The outage is affecting customers beyond campus, in Rock Island. MidAmerican Power Company plans to have the power back on as soon as possible.”
The outage was due to equipment problems and approximately 944 people were affected in the area, stated in an automated call from MidAmerican after power was restored.
Photo above: Swanson Commons without power on September 6, 2020. Photo by Christopher Ferman.
Reporting by Natalie McMillan, Carly Davis, and Lauren Pillion.

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Upper campus sits in the dark during power outage