Squirrel causes power outage, class cancellation at UofM

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - At 8:44 a.m. Friday, the President of the University of Memphis canceled classes due to a power outage on campus.

A substation outage initially knocked out power to nearly 11,000 customers, including the University of Memphis campus.

Power was quickly restored to campus and surrounding areas, but classes remained canceled for the remainder of the day.

MLGW investigated the cause of the power outage. It was traced back to a substation failure. Then MLGW discovered the real culprit: a squirrel.

Rudd took to Twitter to credit (blame?) the squirrel with causing the power outage.

Rudd said he made the choice to cancel classes because he was originally told it could take several hours to restore power to campus. Since the school has very few Friday afternoon classes, Rudd decided to go ahead and cancel classes.

He said his decision was done with student safety in mind.

In fact, during the power outage, students were trapped in four different elevators. None of those students were injured.

The school issued the following alert on the cancellations:

Classes were cancelled today after major power disruptions occurred in the University area and other portions of the City. Students and employees who were caught in elevators without power were quickly assisted. Due to episodic electrical outages, all buildings had to be manually checked by staff to restore power and restart systems, such as HVAC controls. All elevators and other ADA accessibility systems also are being inspected to ensure normal functionality.

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