Power outages continue across California Lutheran University’s campus after a generator caught fire Tuesday afternoon. Southern California Edison responded to the incident that was caused by a failed transformer, according to Cal Lutheran’s Director of Facilities Management, Mark Jacobsen. The lack of air conditioning and power has resulted in the cancellation of all classes on the Thousand Oaks campus for Friday, September 1.
After equipment destroyed in the fire was replaced at approximately 7 p.m. on Wednesday, power was restored, until turning off again around 3 p.m. the following afternoon.
“[Edison] thought that the problem that had affected the larger area had been resolved and would fix our problem, but it has not. So now Edison is in the process of trying to diagnose what the problem is. No one really knows right now,” Jacobsen said.
On Thursday afternoon, Edison was running diagnostics on equipment in the same electrical utility room outside the Student Union that caught fire. Jacobsen said the problem appeared to be on Edison’s side.
Spokesman for Southern California Edison, Paul Griffo, said a team will be arriving Friday morning to make repairs, and also confirmed that the original power outage was caused by blown fuses within a transformer. The current power outage is being attributed to equipment problems.
Griffo said that as of 9:05 p.m., 61 customers in the Thousand Oaks area, including Cal Lutheran, were out of power. Edison estimates that power will return to the affected Thousand Oaks area around 12:30 a.m. or within the early morning hours. According to Griffo, these outages are most likely due to storm activity within the area and a high level of power usage for air conditioning.
Some students were in the middle of their second day of classes when the power went out on Thursday afternoon. Ryan Van Ommeren, Associate Vice President of Planning and Services, said in an email approximately one hour later that faculty should not cancel 4 p.m. classes as power would be restored shortly.
A Campus Safety alert email then sent at 4:37 p.m. said all classes were canceled for that evening and the following day.
Carmen Juarez, who works in the Campus Safety office, said the decision to cancel classes was made by the university’s cabinet of emergency operations, who she said were in a meeting that afternoon.
The cancellation of classes now means that students will have a four day weekend, with the observance of Labor Day on Monday, September 4.
First year student, Kelty Oringderff, said the power outages have disrupted her first week of classes, making her feel unsettled in her new schedule, but that she knows the university is doing what they can to help the situation.
“I think they’re [Cal Lutheran] handling it pretty well, ’cause it sounds like a pretty big power outage. They have been really good about getting us power in the morning and at night so we can see,” said Oringderff.
Oringderff lives on-campus in Thompson Hall, where she said there has been no power and no wifi connection. She said she had to walk to a class across campus in Trinity Hall on Thursday, until class ended early due to the power outage. The outages have been affecting her usual activities.
“I’m a music major, a violinist, and so in the practice rooms the AC is out and the power is out, so if you want to practice it’s pitch-black. I can get in, but it’s super hot and you can’t see anything. My instrument has been going crazy out of tune because of all the humidity and it warps the wood,” Oringderff said.
Due to the power outages, free shaved ice from a Shave It food truck was offered outside the Ullman Dining Commons two days in a row. Ullman 100 and 101 are scheduled to be open 24 hours with air conditioning, while other buildings including the Student Union are closed.
Cal Lutheran’s Labor Day weekend events are projected to continue unless otherwise informed through email alerts.
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