Transformer malfunctions on North Campus late yesterday afternoon caused a series of power outages in residence halls there, officials said tonight.
Ann Arbor Police Officer Mike Scherba said that multiple transformers blew between 6 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. Friday evening, causing two to three big flashes in the Ann Arbor skyline.
University Housing Director Peter Logan confirmed that power was lost in every residence hall on North Campus, but that as of 12:20 a.m. Saturday morning, power had been restored in Baits Housing and the Northwood Apartments.
At that time, Bursley Hall was still without power, according to Logan. Power was restored later in the early morning.
Logan said he thought the transformer malfunctions occurred near the Kellogg Eye Center.
Although Logan was unable to confirm whether other buildings on campus were affected, Department of Public Safety Spokeswoman Diane Brown that it was likely outages occurred in other buildings on North Campus as well.
As of 1:54 a.m., The Michigan Daily was unable to confirm or deny whether other buildings on North Campus had lost power.
Brown said multiple witnesses had reported to DPS that they had seen flashes in the sky at the time of the transformer malfunction.
“People reported seeing flashes, like explosions, up on a wire. It happened a few times,” Brown said. “At the same time, there were multiple reports of power outages all around North Campus.”
Engineering sophomore Rex Brown said he was at Marching Band practice on Elbel Field when he saw the explosions.
“There were two or three green flashes in the sky,” Rex Brown said. “It lit up the sky pretty well from the field.”
LSA junior Matthew Hillyer was in his room in Baits II at the time that the power outages began.
“The power went off five or six times, and after about the sixth time it didn’t come back on,” Hillyer said.
Hillyer, the minority peer advisor for Baits Housing, said most students had relocated to Central Campus, as both the residence halls and the academic buildings on North Campus were without power.
Logan also said that DTE Energy was currently working on the situation on North Campus as of 12:20 a.m., with plans to restore power to Bursley as soon as possible.
“DTE will take the power down (in the North Campus area) in about two hours in order to bring the power in Bursley back up, which may affect all of North Campus briefly, basically kind of rebooting the system,” Logan said.
DTE Energy could not be reached for comment about the cause of the transformer malfunction, as well as to discuss the extent of the damage done to the immediate area where the malfunction occurred.