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5 Years Ago

With a few snow flurries in the campus air at midday, it seems fitting to look back five years to the one-two punch of a snowstorm and power outage

from The Bridge, vol. XLIII, no. 4; pp. 1 (November 16, 2011).

Snow Blizzard Causes a Two-Day  Power Outage at School

The first snowstorm of this academic year hit on Saturday evening October 29 and resulted in a two-day power outage at school. According to dean of students Nicole Hager the outage lasted from approximately 10 p.m. on Saturday until around noon on Monday, October 31…
Because of this outage, classes were canceled on October 31 and November 1. According to Hager, about 350 boarding students left campus, and about 130 day students remained off campus.
To deal with the crisis, many members of the NMH community worked overtime. Hager said Plant and Property staff worked around the clock plowing roads, clearing fallen trees, moving and connecting generators and even recharging and refueling generators throughout the night.
Similarly, the dining hall staff members continued to offer a continental breakfast in the morning and hot lunches and dinners. Hager added that some dining staff members slept over in O’Connor Health Center to ensure that they would be able to work the next day.
Many seniors applying early to colleges had deadlines on November 1 and found that the power outage came at an inconvenient time. The students who remained on campus were allowed to bring their computers to work in the dining hall, one of the few buildings with power. Many colleges extended their deadlines for students badly affected by the snow storm, according to Hager.
Besides the dining hall, the conference room in Holbrook had power, which allowed the crisis management team to make phone calls and send e-mail messages, said Hager. She added that the power plant also kept generating steam to heat the dormitories. Backup generators supplied these building with power, she said.

A year later, the campus-wide generator nicknamed “The Lamplighter” was on line to alleviate the effects of any future blackouts.