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Power outage darkens MIT

Two-hour blackout surprises Cambridge, campus
At about 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, the MIT campus lost electricity for two hours, part of a larger blackout reportedly caused by a failed Nstar transmission line. Much of Cambridge, including Harvard University, was affected.

During the power outage, MIT’s essential services, such as the MIT Police, EMS and MIT Medical, were able to operate under backup power.

The MIT Police and the Facilities department responded successfully to five instances of people being stuck in elevators. By the time power was restored, there were no known unresolved emergencies.

“We are still reviewing where things stand to learn whether there are any issues related to the power loss that we need to address,” said John DiFava, Director of Facilities Operations and Security and Chief of the MIT Police.

MIT’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) sent campus-wide alerts by text message and email providing the phone number of the MIT Police for those needing to report emergencies. The initial alert was delayed due to an error in the configuration of the system through which alerts are sent. The error has been fixed, and the EOC plans to enact further precautions to ensure its ability to send messages quickly.

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