Residents in the city of Hillsdale were without power for several hours today, but power had been restored to all but two customers as of 3:27 p.m., according to the City of Hillsdale.
A tree on Bacon Street fell down and took out a line that extends all the way to Pittsford, Michigan, according to the Hillsdale Board of Public Utilities. About 1,900 BPU customers were without power today, according to the city. Power on campus went out shortly after 11:30 a.m., and the dining hall was running on backup energy until power was restored. On campus, power was restored around 12:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, most of the city was out, BPU said, as well as other parts of the county on the Pittsford line.
Sophomore Drew Hicks was in class at Lane Hall with Professor of History David Stewart when the power went out. He said the lights turned dark as the students were flipping between the documents they were studying. Stewart continued lecturing, Hicks said.
“I was a little confused,” Hicks said. “I wasn’t sure if it was just the classroom or if it was everywhere. I looked outside and saw the hallway and other classrooms were dark.”
Senior Elyssa Warren left Hillsdale Academy for lunch on campus, and she said she knew the power was out when she noticed Central Hall’s clock was off.
Bon Appetit Marketing Coordinator William Persson noted that the power went out at one of the dining hall’s peak meal times. While a Bon Appetit employee went to notify security, Persson said he and others went to supervise the cashier station as students came in for lunch.
Because the card readers were down, however, he said they took down each student’s ID number by hand. 11:50 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. is one of the main times for students to swipe in for a meal, and Persson said he didn’t notice much of a decline in students coming in for lunch.
Dining hall employees also rushed to get water out quickly, Persson said, because the drink machines aren’t connected to backup power.
Bon Appetit also keep disposable dishes in stock in case of emergencies, and employees had those out for lunch. There were a lot of dishes that needed to be done when the power came back, but Persson said they’re all caught up.
The biggest concern, though, was how they were going to prepare dinner if the power had stayed out longer. Ovens and other machines for hot food were down, Persson said. David Apthorpe, general manager, and other cafe managers were brainstorming for how to feed the students at dinner. They even considered grilling and cooking food on the porch outside, serving students from there, Persson said. It reminded him of the food situation in last winter’s polar vortex.
Persson said he was relieved when the power came back on.
“It makes me really grateful that there is technology,” he said. “It makes you realize how much of a time saver it gives you.”
Julia Mullins contributed to this report.