Loyola power lost blamed on hungry squirrel

By Jillian Schwartz

Blame it on the squirrel.

When the power went out at Loyola University Chicago Monday afternoon, it was because  a squirrel chewed through one of the wires at an off-campus substation, university officials said.

Some buildings at Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus lost power early Monday afternoon, including the Information Commons. Some buildings, including Mertz Hall, the Student Union (CFSU) and Coffey Hall received power from another source and were able to stay running.

Many other buildings–most notably the Information Commons–suffered a longer time down, causing students to relocate to other buildings with power to do their work.

The power was completely restored to campus after about one hour.

All because of a squirrel.

Kana Wibbenmeyer, Associate Vice President for Facilities shared details on the issue:

“On Monday, October 31st, around 2:00pm, we lost power from ComEd feeder 8456 which provides power to the following buildings:

Sullivan Center, Burrowes House, Quinlan Life Science Building, Piper Hall, Coffey Hall, Norville Intercollegiate Athletics Center, Gentile Arena, Steam Plant, Chiller Plant, Crown Center, Cudahy Library & Klarchek Info Commons, Mertz Hall, CFSU and Mertz Hall,
CFSU, and Coffey Hall automatically transferred to a secondary source of power and had full power.  The Steam Plant generator switched on to feed Cudahy Library, Klarchek Information Commons, Crown Center, Steam & Chiller Plant, Norville, and Gentile.  Quinlan’s generator switched on to feed Quinlan and Piper.  Sullivan and Burrowes were both without power except for battery pack emergency lights since those buildings do not have a backup generator.
After just about 1 hour, power was restored by ComEd at around 3:07 p.m.
Today we learned from ComEd that the cause of the outage was a squirrel that had chewed through a wire at a substation located away from our campus.”

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