Home / National News / Power Restored at Rutgers After Outages Force 3K Students to Sleep on Cots in Common Areas


(NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.) — Power was restored Thursday morning after widespread outages at two of Rutgers University’s campuses in New Jersey left 90 buildings in the dark, forced 3,000 students out of 39 residence halls and prompted the cancellation of all evening classes Wednesday, officials said.

Classes will resume Thursday.

Rutgers first announced the outages at its Cook and Douglass campuses, both located in New Brunswick, in a post on its Facebook page at 12:30 p.m. ET Wednesday.

“Due to a series of power outages on the Cook/Douglass campus, the University is undertaking several measures to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff in those locations,” the school said. “Currently, approximately 90 buildings are experiencing intermittent power issues, including 39 residence halls. We have been working with PSE&G technicians to resolve the issues, but due to the ongoing nature of the outages, we are taking the following actions.”

A few hours later, the university announced in another post on its Facebook page that “due to the ongoing issue of intermittent power outages on the Cook/Douglass Campuses, all evening classes on those campuses are canceled.”


Evening classes are cancelled on Cook/Douglass due to the power outage at #Rutgers. Check here for more info: https://t.co/hpqQiQbDKR

— Rutgers University (@RutgersU) September 14, 2016


Amid the hours-long outages, Rutgers provided transportation to its other campuses for the thousands of displaced students who were forced to spend the night in cots in common spaces, such as gymnasiums.

“Residential populations in affected buildings will be relocated to temporary lodging,” Rutgers said in a statement on its website. “Buses will be running from Cook/Douglass to Busch and Livingston campuses to assist students with their transition.”

“I just finished packing,” student Isa Judd told ABC New York station WABC-TV Wednesday. “I’m going to study at the library right now and then come pick up my stuff and move into the gymnasium. It’s going to be tough.”

Another student, Dana Ikeda, also told WABC-TV, “It’s a little stressful right now, I’ve kind of been running around different campuses since there’s no Wi-Fi or electricity here so it’s been a long day.”


oh rutgers pic.twitter.com/hHX47Vv9Z8

— Kristinaaa (@KristinaKong1) September 14, 2016


Rutgers released a statement on its website at 5:30 a.m. ET Thursday saying the Cook and Douglass campuses “are back online and power has been restored.”

“All buildings are open and operating. Classes will resume their normal schedule this morning,” the statement continued. “Employees should report to work for their normal shifts.”

The university had said earlier that it could not provide students with a timeline of when they could return to the residence halls. Students were encouraged “to bring with you only essentials that you will need such as pillow, blanket, toiletries, any personal medication, towel, change of clothing.”

University officials had assured students, though, that “there will be increased security in the closed halls.”

The outage on the Cook campus appeared to be caused by an internal equipment problem within the college’s network, a representative for the utility PSE&G told WABC-TV in a statement.

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