Cat causes power failure



    Students and faculty in the David M. Kennedy Center experienced an all-day power outage caused by a cat Wednesday.

    “A cat got into the high voltage switch termination box,” said Bob Rhoads, an electrical engineer from BYU’s electric shop. Not only was the cat electrocuted, but damage was done to the ends of the termination cables in the switch box.

    The power could not be restored promptly because the electrical engineers had to go through the process of rebuilding the ends of the termination cables, Rhoads said.

    The box, located east of the Eyring Science Center, was left open for a project by a contractor.

    “The cat must have been chasing a mouse or something and jumped into the box, losing its ninth life,” Rhoads said. “The initial power outage occurred at 8:38 a.m.” The initial outage affected several buildings on campus aside from the Kennedy Center, he said.

    The campus electrical personnel was able to isolate the electricity problem and restore power to all of the buildings with the exception of the Kennedy Center.

    “I got here at 11 a.m. and the power was out,” said Lael Palmer, a junior from Provo, majoring in journalism. Some teachers canceled their classes in the Kennedy Center due to the lack of power.

    Becky Park, a sophomore from Holladay, majoring in social work, had her Social Work 211 class cancelled due to the power outage. “The hallways were all dark in the Clark building as I was walking to class,” Park said.

    Park was informed by some of the students from her class that the teacher had canceled class. “Everyone said the power outage was probably the result of power line damage,” Park said.

    Marilyn Reynolds, an administrative secretary for the Kennedy Center said, business throughout the building was pretty much the same as usual even though the power was out and the computers were down.

    “We are answering the phone a lot and people keep coming in,” Reynolds said. “They said the power would be out all day,” she said.

    “The power should be back on this afternoon,” Rhoads said. Rhoads estimated the power outage to last approximately eight hours.

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