Power Outage at USC

We had a blackout Monday at about 12:40 pm PST. I was in my Math 126 (Calculus II) lecture with Professor Ko Honda. When the lights went out, our first thought was that the motion sensor hadn’t seen any movement – but it soon became clear when we noticed that the lights in the hallway were off.

This was in Taper Hall, and the room had windows. So Professor Honda had us open the blinds – and continued lecturing. In WPH, there were no windows. Prof. Honda lectured in the hallway, where emergency power kept every other light on.

I later heard that some other classes were cancelled. Not so with Prof. Honda :)

I left the lecture early to check out Marks Hall and unplug my computer systems (in my dorm). I found that the power was out across the entire campus – and, indeed – across LA as well. While walking, I heard lots of alarms going off. It’s as if they have alarms in place to warn you, “hey, the power is out!”

My friend Jason needed to do a Chemistry lab, requiring a computer and internet access.

You can often hear sirens in and around USC. But most people agree that this gives USC and the urban atmosphere a legitimate feeling.

Power was restored at about 1:30 pm – so it lasted about 50 minutes. Prof. Lemon (Core 102) told us that she had never experienced a power outage at USC during all of the past five years that she’s taught here. It’s an unusual occurrence.

Why did it happen? I’ll give you this from NBC 6 News.

Cut cables. That’s the latest explanation from authorities in Los Angeles about the cause of a major power outage. Officials initially said that workers had crossed wires during an installation project.

They now say utility workers mistakenly cut several cables, causing a short that caused an afternoon blackout that lasted several hours. People were trapped in elevators and motorists struggled to get through clogged intersections. Many office workers seized the chance for an extended lunch.

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