At approximately 4:20 in the afternoon, the campus was plunged into darkness amidst the pending blizzard that plastered Utah. But the outage was not due to the storm, but a major waterline break that flooded the electrical distribution locker located in the student center on campus.
When the power went out, many classes were in session, and several students were trapped in elevators said Joel Herd, Assistant Director of the student Center.
Our main concern is the safety of the students and visitors on campus, said Herd. After the power and water was interrupted we evacuated the buildings and closed the campus for the remainder of the evening.
About 4 feet of water, mud and ice flooded the loading dock and electrical distribution node as well as a car owned by Val Brown, the director of Food Services for the school.
"I only just left the car there an hour ago for a quick stop, and I come to find it half way under water," said Brown.
Utah Power & Light arrived on campus to shut down the sub station that powered the campus, so work crews could pump out the water without the fear of being electrocuted.
Rocky Mountain Power also said that aprox. 1,170 Orem customers lost power at the same time as the outage on campus.
Power and water was restored later that evening, and classes resumed the next morning uninterrupted. Water damage was confined to the loading docks and electrical plant and the vehicles in the area.