The storm that slammed northern New England Sunday night left more than 40,000 homes and businesses in Brunswick without power and every Bowdoin student without e-mail.
Just after midnight, buildings on the "South Campus loop" lost power. Power was restored Monday afternoon, and network operations—which includes telephones, printers, e-mail, network file services, and most business applications—were down for nearly six hours during the day on Monday.
The outage on campus resulted from fallen tree branches and a blown transformer in the area, according to an e-mail that Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols sent on Monday morning.
While Moulton Union was closed for breakfast and lunch, Thorne Hall ran on a generator and was open for all three meals on Monday.
"Thorne Hall becomes the center of the universe during a power outage," said Nichols.
Although only certain buildings on campus were affected by the outage, the failure of network operations was noticed by all.
According to Chief Information Officer Mitch Davis, the network was down because of mechanical problems in the main computer operations center in the basement of Hubbard Hall. Usually, when power is lost, severs run on back-up battery power for up to 20 minutes—the time it takes for the generator to kick in. However, the generator overheated, and there was nothing else to power the servers after the back-up battery ran out of power.
"IT systems are not supposed to go down like that," Davis said.
Although the generator was up and running within an hour, it took much longer to boot up all the systems that had been shut down too suddenly.
Davis estimates that Bowdoin experiences up to seven power outages each year, but he said that this particular problem "hadn't happened ever."
"After it's all over and done with, it was actually a fun problem," Davis said, adding that the people who work in IT do so because "we like to solve problems."
While the impact from the power outage at Bowdoin was relatively short-term, those living off-campus were out of power until as late as Tuesday night.
Senior Collin York, who lives on Harpswell Road, found a silver lining in the power outage.
"It gave me a good excuse not to do my reading," York said.
-Toph Tucker contributed to this report.