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Powered down: how Bowdoin handled the blackout

November 3, 2017

Ann Basu

Campus Power Outage

On October 30, a severe wind storm knocked out Bowdoin's power for nearly 48 hours. The Orient looks at student and staff responses to the incident.

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Ann Basu

Coming together to recharge

The lack of power forced most of the larger Bowdoin community to seek refuge in Thorne Hall throughout Monday and part of Tuesday. Students sat on the floor amongst full tables, overcrowded power outlets and lines extending out of the dining hall to the front of Baxter House during Monday night dinner. However, students and staff members tried to keep spirits high between the hard work and diligence of the dining staff, to spontaneous outbursts of singing from students.

Jenny Ibsen
Ann Basu

Academics weather the storm

Even in the chaos of the storm, many students didn’t feel much of a reprieve from their typical day-to-day academic pressures. Tables in Thorne throughout the day could be seen covered in laptops and notebooks as students tried to keep up with their coursework. Many students expressed that they were unable to focus in the hectic environment of the crowded dining hall, but struggled to find alternative study spaces given the lack of light, grounded power and WiFi. Some students went home or to Portland for WiFi, lights and a quiet place to study. For work that didn’t require the use of a laptop, students cited using everything from headlamps to electronic candles to complete readings and problem sets. Especially since some professors didn’t adapt assignments or shift deadlines and even continued to hold classes throughout Monday, students felt a need to operate as usual under very unusual circumstances.

Ann Basu

Facilities leads quick recovery

Facilities has been working continuously since Monday morning to make sure the campus is safe and the College is able to return to its fully functioning state after the storm. From clearing debris to repairing damage, removing fallen trees across campus to addressing flooding in Coles Tower, groundskeeping and housekeeping crews have played an integral role in helping the Bowdoin community through this week. Unfortunately due to the high demand on the crews this week, members of facilities were not available for comment, but their hard work, this week especially, enabled the campus to get back up and running in remarkable time.

Ann Basu


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