Power restored to most of campus; some classes canceled

Updates will continue to be posted on the UC Berkeley home page, the UC Berkeley emergency page, the campus Facebook page and Twitter site, and the toll-free campus emergency information line, at 1-800-705-9998, as information is confirmed.

Vice Provost Koshland’s Oct. 1 message to students and academic titles

Chancellor Dirks’ Oct. 1 message to campus

Monday, Sept. 30 news story

Update posted at 11:30 a.m.

In a message to students and those with academic titles, Vice Provost Catherine Koshland wrote the following:

Due to the explosion and power outage that occurred yesterday evening, a number of buildings on campus remain closed. It is suggested that faculty make individual arrangements concerning any makeup or replacement of work. For faculty that have not made arrangements to move their classes, those class meetings will be canceled.

We are working on relocating classes that are to meet on Wednesday and possibly later in the week. If there is a revised schedule produced, it will be located here on the UC Berkeley website.

For non-instructional events that are scheduled in Dwinelle Hall, there are, unfortunately, no other space options available given that scheduled academic classes have priority for rescheduling and relocation.

[See Chancellor Dirks’ announcement below for the list of buildings without power]

We ask for your understanding and accommodation of students who may have been challenged to be prepared for class today, Tuesday, Oct. 1. Students who live in the residence halls did not have power until late evening/early morning today, and therefore may not have had power for laptops, connectivity for research or adequate light to read and study. If you encounter any students who are anxious or are having difficulty coping, please direct them to resources in the Tang Center: bit.ly/copingtrauma.

Midterm examinations originally scheduled for this evening in Dwinelle Hall have new room assignments.  Instructors have been notified. If you have questions, please contact Pamela Armstrong, Campus Classroom Manager at (510) 642-1321 or via email at p.armstrong@berkeley.edu

Below is an update on classroom technology support for today:

  • The Classroom Support Number is being staffed:¬† (510) 643-8637
  • Network connectivity may not be available in your classroom. IST is aware of the problem and is working quickly to restore service to impacted buildings.
  • ETS is monitoring bSpace and bCourses support tickets and the support phone number.
  • Lecture Capture will be operational, but can not be monitored. We will inform faculty who have requested this service directly if there are any issues with their capture.

 

Update posted at 9:50 a.m.

Chancellor Dirks sent the following CalMail message to campus this morning:

Campus officials report that power has been restored to most buildings on the campus and that most classes will meet as scheduled today (Oct. 1).

At this time, 11 buildings are without power and not currently operational:

  • Alumni House
  • Bancroft Library
  • California Hall
  • Central Heating Plant
  • Doe Library
  • Durant Hall
  • Dwinelle Hall
  • Dwinelle Annex
  • Edwards Track (East and West areas)
  • Haas Pavilion
  • EH&S Facility

Students should assume that classes in these buildings are canceled for the day, but classes in other campus buildings will take place as planned.

Students should check with their academic departments for more information about rescheduling of classes or events.

Employees who work in these buildings should check with their supervisor about reporting to work.

We want to assure people that it is safe to come to campus.

Power to the majority of the campus buildings was restored last night using a methodical approach to ensure that each building is safe to occupy.

Because of this method of restoration, the campus has a high level of confidence that the campus is safe.

Physical Plant and Campus Services spent the evening monitoring the situation and walking through all the buildings to determine safety.

We will continue to provide updates on the web site and other communications channels throughout the day.

University leadership appreciates the efforts of all the dedicated people who assisted in recovery from the incident, and regret any inconvenience and concern this has caused.

A review of the circumstances that led to this incident will be conducted, and the campus will be updated with any findings.

 

The information below was originally posted at 5:30 a.m. and updated at 7:30 a.m.

Campus officials report that power has been restored to most buildings on the campus and that most classes will meet as scheduled today (Oct. 1).

At this time, 11 buildings are without power and not currently operational:

  • Alumni House
  • Bancroft Library
  • California Hall
  • Central Heating Plant
  • Doe Library
  • Durant Hall
  • Dwinelle Hall
  • Dwinelle Annex
  • Edwards Track (East and West areas)
  • Haas Pavilion
  • EH&S Facility

Students should assume that classes in these buildings are canceled for the day, but classes in other campus buildings will take place as planned. Students should check with their academic departments for more information about rescheduling of classes or events. Employees who work in these buildings should check with their supervisor about reporting to work.

Power to the majority of the campus buildings was restored last night using a methodical approach to ensure that each building is safe to occupy. Physical Plant and Campus Services spent the evening monitoring the situation and walking through all the buildings to determine safety. Because of this method of restoration, the campus has a high level of confidence that the campus is safe.

As power is restored to the remaining buildings, we will update the campus via the campus web site, Berkeley.edu and the Berkeley social media channels.

University leadership appreciates the efforts of all the dedicated people who assisted in recovery from the incident, and regret any inconvenience and concern this has caused.

A review of the circumstances that led to this incident will be conducted, and the campus will be updated with any findings.

 

The information below was posted the evening of Monday, Sept. 30:

Power system failure causes explosion, leaving one student with minor injuries

UC Berkeley experienced a widespread power outage at approximately 4:40 p.m. on Monday (Sept. 30) that led to an explosion in an underground steam tunnel, leaving at least one student with minor injuries.

The student with minor injuries was transported to a medical facility and later released. Up to four other people with minor injuries declined aid. The affiliation with the campus of those who declined medical aid is unknown.

As of 11:15 p.m., partial power to the campus has been restored. Efforts to get the rest of the campus back online will continue throughout the night.

During the outage, approximately 20 people had been stuck in elevators in affected buildings, but all were freed by 8:30 p.m.

The campus outage led campus officials to cancel evening classes and request that labs be safely shut down. At 6:40 p.m., the power system failure led to an explosion and subsequent fire in an underground steam tunnel on central campus, between California and Durant halls. The explosion led to a call for an evacuation of campus. The fire was extinguished by 8:15 p.m.

People are being asked to stay away from the main campus until full power is restored, but the residence halls have been cleared for students to return.

Throughout the evening UC Police has sent updates via the emergency WarnMe alert system that goes out to the campus community.