By Madison Zoey Vettorino
Portions of the Marist College campus experienced a brief power outage at 3:40 p.m. on Wednesday, November 29, due to a situation with a utility pole in front of the interim Steel Plant Building, 51 Fulton, on Fulton Street. Power was restored on the North End of campus at approximately 4:15 p.m. the same day.
“A wire fell, a couple of birds got blown up,” said Gary Ritter, a Marist employee who works for the Maintenance department.
According to Greg Goodwin, one thing led to another and the power went off. “We had a phase wire down, a bird landed on the pole…” said Goodwin, a Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation employee who responded to the incident. “It wasn’t a transformer. The fuses popped and disconnected.” This resulted in several buildings and residential areas on-campus temporarily losing electricity.
Gemma Tebbutt, a sophomore Digital Media major, was in her Basic Painting class at 51 Fulton Street, and witnessed the scene firsthand.
“We were in the main studio center, which is the second floor,” she said. “One of the entire walls is a window, so you can see Fulton Street and the pole. I was painting, and I was facing the window with my easel in front of me. All at once there was a bang, the building shook, and all the lights went off. From behind my easel, I saw a tiny little spark of light. The light was miniscule compared to everything else that was happening. My professor went to the window, to asses.”
Rachel Sumner, a sophomore who lives in the Lower New residential area, believes that many students did not initially realize the vastness of the issue. “I thought that one of my housemates blew a fuse,” she said. “Then, I realized that everyone else was walking out of their house wondering what happened, so I thought it was just our residential area. I then saw everyone on Snapchat talking about the power being out, so I realized it was more campus-wide at that point. It was spooky.”
According to John Doerr, also an employee at Central Hudson, this incident did not only impact buildings on Marist’s campus. The incident affected “the whole circuit, all the way up to the Culinary Institute.”
Tebbutt said that the occurrence was alarming. “I was scared, because the entire building shook. It was startling. My first thought was that somebody drove a car into the building. At first, I never thought it was something outside.”
Since the incident, everywhere on-campus has once again regained electricity. “All the power is restored, everywhere on the campus,” said Marist Security Officer Rodriguez.