Power outage hits UK area; patient care not interrupted

electricity soon restored to most buildings

September 7, 2011 

A widespread power outage on the University of Kentucky campus on Tuesday did not interrupt hospital operations but did affect a large number of UK's south campus buildings.

UK spokeswoman Kathy Johnson said that at 12:56 p.m. an insulator failed, causing many buildings to lose power, among them the Nutter Training Facility, Commonwealth Stadium, William T. Young Library, Cooperstown, Johnson Center, Seaton Center and all of Bluegrass Community and Technical College on Cooper Drive.

An insulator failed at a sub-station at UK parking structure No. 1 at Cooper and University drives.

Although most buildings' power had been restored by late Tuesday afternoon, Agriculture Science Centers north and south still were having intermittent outages throughout the afternoon.

UK later determined that the intermittent power outages at the agriculture buildings were because of a fuse that blew as a result of the original insulator malfunction.

At Chandler Hospital, Gill Heart Institute, the University Health Service and the Wethington office building, power was transferred automatically to backup power after a 10-second "blink." The Whitney Hendrickson and Combs buildings in the Markey Cancer Center do not have an automatic transfer switch and went to emergency generators.

Good Samaritan Hospital was not affected, but the VA Medical Center on Cooper Drive was, according to VA spokeswoman Desti Stimes. Stimes said regular power was off from 12:50 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., but patient care was not interrupted.

The problem insulator — a device that blocks flow of electricity to some areas — was expected to be repaired later Tuesday evening or by Wednesday morning.

UK restored power by bypassing the failed insulator to feed two transformers.

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