Monster Tree Services at work on a fallen tree in front of the Shepard Administration Building, Wednesday, August 16. Photo by Mesa Jones

Campus rebounds after storm knocks out power

August 18, 2023

First came the alerts. One after another: “Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for the area around NCCU.” That was at 1:47 p.m. Tuesday.

At around 4 p.m. the thunder boomed and rain came down. Shortly after, power and network outages struck across the West side of campus. Affecting Benjamin Ruffin Residence Hall, BRITE, Eagle Landing Residence Hall, W.G Pearson.

It was all downhill from there.

At 8:46 p.m. Chidley went dark. Two minutes later the New Student Center went dark. The Eagle Alert at 9:09 p.m. announced that the entire campus was down.

Immediately students took to social media and blew up GroupMe chats with their residential assistants asking when power would be restored. “They’re working on fixing the rest of Durham before they come to fix ours,” wrote Trevyanna Williams.

Which left the campus in darkness – and in heat – until 10:25 pm.

Wednesday, University Officials, the Office of Communications and Marketing, IT, and the Physical Plant were in a rehabilitation phase trying to return things to normal.

That morning students, with yet another announcement,  found out that breakfast wouldn’t be served in the Pearson Cafe: “Breakfast: Will be served from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the NCCU Student Center Event Hall” Breakfast shifted from Pearson to the New Student Center.

Then this: “Classes will return to normal schedules beginning at 12 p.m.”

One question on many students’ minds: What about the first Fried Chicken Wednesday of the school year? Would it be postponed? Moved to the New Student Center? But no, it was still observed in the cafeteria as usual.

Campus was fully restored by noon Wednesday.

But some off campus students still faced difficulties.

Mass communication senior Kaia Bond, who rents in an older home in North Durham said she had no air conditioning or lights from the beginning of the storm until noon Thursday.

“I had to stay with a friend on campus in Eagle Landing,” she said. “And that caused me to fall behind in my classes already since I didn’t know where I’d be staying at first.” According to Bond when she finally returned home she was met with spoiled groceries valued at around $120.

 

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Monster Tree Services at work on a fallen tree in front of the Shepard Administration Building, Wednesday, August 16. Photo by Mesa Jones
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