The University of Maine and surrounding Orono area faced an unexpected power outage Friday evening for several hours. The cause was initially unknown and the UMaine emergency response text message system sent out messages to registered community members informing them that updates would be available when possible.
Emera Maine reported that at least 6,000 people were without power.
The Orono community on and off campus was shaken up due to the outage and its unknown cause. It was reported by Emera Maine several hours later that a fallen tree across a major transmission line was the cause for the widespread outage. The power went out at around 5:15 p.m.
Due to the outage, the UMaine men’s hockey game against the University of Minnesota-Duluth scheduled for 7 p.m. had to be postponed. The power was back on at 7:34 p.m. and everyone was let back in after 10 minutes of continuous power as the Alfond Arena has a rule stating that fans are not allowed back into the building until the arena has regained power for at least 10 minutes. During that period of time, the pep band played for the waiting fans.The game started at 8:30 p.m. after giving the teams time to warm up.
All of the traffic lights in Orono were out causing congestion at both ends of College Avenue as well as downtown Orono. Many of the local businesses closed during the outage with some staying closed once the power came back.
The hockey game was able to be postponed, as was the Jacob Bishop Show at the Collins Center for the Arts, but other events on campus had to be cancelled due to the power outage. The Persian Poetry Night as well as L’Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Story) had to be cancelled on Friday night. The Haunted Trail put on by the Sophomore Eagles and Owls was able to continue as planned despite the lack of power.