Power lost after forklift downs pole

The University of La Verne campus experienced an eight-hour power outage Tuesday, forcing buildings to close and classes to be canceled on the east side of campus.

The outage was caused by a forklift accident at the Landing Apartments construction site at First and G streets.

“The forklift driver who was putting stuff on the top floor for construction, brought down two of the electric wires,” said Clive Houston-Brown, vice president of technology services and facilities. “It was a major outage that wiped out two wires that had to be completely restrung and replaced.”

The outage, which lasted from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., affected the Barkley Building, Barkley Annex, Leo Hall, the Arts and Communications Building and the Oaks residence hall.

The University first notified the community that power would be out until 10 a.m., then 3 p.m., then 6 p.m.

Most morning and afternoon classes were canceled.

Power was restored at 4:40 p.m., allowing evening classes to proceed as scheduled.

Houston-Brown said one of the wires was on fire, contributing to the long delay it took Southern California Edison to restore power.

Ruth Trotter, professor of art, was in her office in the Arts and Communications Building when the power went out.

“It was notable that the emergency lights went out, as well as all the power,” Trotter said. “It was eerily quiet.”

Trotter said some classes were able to meet in the upstairs portion of the building where there was still some natural light.

“I think people enjoyed the change of routine, and were able to socialize with each other in a different way,” Trotter said. “Especially when it started to rain, which was another unusual occurrence.”

–Layla Abbas

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