University providing flashlights, alternate study places, other help
10.18.2013 By Rich Barlow
A planned power outage by utility company NStar to fix an aging transformer will cut electricity from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, October 19, in 16 South Campus residences and apartments.
About 100 Boston residents in addition to those in the University properties will also lose power, says William Walter, assistant vice president of operations and services for Facilities Management & Planning. The overnight timing of the outage means the work “will not adversely impact Parents Weekend activity,” Walter says, adding that the University has been notifying residents of the BU properties that will lose power. No labs or classrooms will be affected. The University will distribute flashlights and arrange alternate study spaces for those students affected by the shutdown.
“Facilities staff will be on campus to monitor the progress of the work and be available to assist the community,” according to Walter. In an emergency, residents may call the Facilities Operations and Service Center at 617-353-2105.
He reminds residents of University safety rules against using candles and open flames at any time, including during the outage. Candles are the most common cause of fires in places where college students live.
NStar has been upgrading its power grid in the last few years to improve reliability, Walter says. The University sought to have the outage postponed until after Parents Weekend (the Head of the Charles regatta is also being held this weekend), but was told the transformer, located on Beacon Street, could fail at any moment. “The repair has to be done as soon as possible,” with a possible breakdown imminent, says Gary Nicksa, senior vice president for operations.
“Though inconvenient,” Walter says, “it is far better to have notice than to have an unplanned emergency power failure.”
Power will be cut to the following University addresses:
- Beacon Street, numbers 845, 848, 853, 856, 860, 862, 867, and 875
- Buswell Street, numbers 1, 1A, 6, and 42
- Aberdeen Street, numbers 25 and 27
- Park Drive, numbers 455 and 457
This story originally appeared in BU Today on 10/18/13.