Wind knocked the power out of Valley College

By Savannah Simmons, Opinion Editor

A power outage took Valley students, teachers, and staff by surprise Monday afternoon for almost two hours before turning back on. 

High winds in Southern California knocked out power at Valley College which left some students stuck in elevators and professors unsure about upcoming classes.

“There were some people were stranded in elevators because of a backup generator issue,” said Valley President Erika Endrijonas. “The backup generator came on and one elevator of folks came out but one was still stuck. The fire department came got the folks out safely no problems.”

Students in 11:20 a.m. classes were surprised when the lights flickered on and off before completely going out at 12:21 pm. Professors and students scrambled to figure out if they should wait for the power to return or cancel classes. 

The Valley Sheriff’s Station and Maintenance Services were not sure about the classes continuing or being canceled, but some professors were thinking about canceling classes themselves.

“They said, hang tight, the wifi will be back on soon,” said ESL instructor Shaw Smith during the outage. “That’s all they told us.”

In the Emergency Procedures Reference Book that is posted in all classrooms and buildings on campus, it is a procedure that “in the event of a power failure emergency lighting will come on and exits signs will remain lit.” And to use natural light if the outage occurs during the daytime.

Looking down the halls, dim emergency lights could be seen. It was reported that the Administration Building ran on reserve power while classrooms remained dark.

LADWP had five services to tend to before coming to help Valley College which was estimated to be sometime before 7:41 pm. LADWP also confirmed that the outage was due to the high winds we have been experiencing.

“We’re working as quickly and safely as we can,” said a customer service representative at LADWP. 

After about an hour and forty minutes, the power was restored. Two messages addressing the campus-wide issue were sent out through Blackboard Connect and Public Information Officer, Jennifer Fong Borucki explained they were waiting for an update from LADWP before sending anything out.

Management Professor Jack Condon went on with his classes despite the power outage and was happy with his students’ presentations they gave even though they didn’t have the support of Powerpoint. “Don’t give up, you persevere,” said Condon.

According to LADWP’s Twitter, “At 2:15 pm we have approx 8,900 of our 1.5 million customers affected by power outages in @LACity due to #LAWind. #ValleyVillage, #MarVista, #CanogaPark most affected neighborhoods.”

“It didn’t bother me,” said student Katherine Pineda. “It was great because I got out early.”

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