By: Meg O’Connell

Students left their classes early on Nov. 23, though it was not to cash in on Black Friday shopping.

Algonquin was left without power for 12 minutes on Friday at 3:48 p.m. due to a loss of supply from the provincial grid.

Students remained puzzled about the cause of the loss of power as they slowly left darkened classrooms and study rooms.

“I thought it had something to do with the weather,” said Tony LeBlanc, first-year culinary management student. “Then we left the classroom we were in to check it out and it was still pretty clear outside.”

The outage was spread across Ottawa’s west-end, leaving 25,000 of Hydro Ottawa’s 305,000 customers without power.
“It was very strange,” said Matt Arthur, first-year computer systems student. “I guess the generator was working for a while (in ACCE building) because most of the lights went out except for a few that stayed on, but they were very dim. Then after a few minutes everything went out.”

“We’re here working on assignments for class,” said Arthur. “I’m actually just goofing around on my computer but my friend would have lost his assignment if he was relying on his laptop charger for power.”

The college was left dark; computers shut down, hall doors shut and lights out. Library staff asked students to evacuate, checking bags manually as students left the second-floor while security gates remained inactive.

“It was an issue of safety,” said Maureen Sheppard, librarian at the college. “We needed to evacuate the library and check students’ bags ourselves when the gate went down just as a security measure. We are very grateful for everyone’s patience.”

The provincial grid supplies the electrical and nuclear generator systems that Hydro Ottawa receives and uses to provide power to the area.

“The provincial grid is a high powered, metal generating station,” said Rebecca Turcotte, communications officer at Hydro Ottawa. “It sends down the electricity that Hydro Ottawa uses and on Friday we weren’t receiving any from the grid. Without the grid sending anything down, there is nothing to supply.”

Hydro One fixed the problem after 12 minutes, quickly restoring power to customers after both the company’s Twitter pages and the phone lines were flooded with people attempting to report the outage.