Severe thunderstorm causes power outages across campus
At approximately 4 pm on Wednesday, the severe thunderstorms over the Northeast region of the United States caused power outages in Rensselaer. Power cuts were reported in student dorms such as Nugent Hall and RAPHs, as well as several off-campus residencies, and Rensselaer buildings, including the Rensselaer Union—which was backed up on generator power.
As of 6 pm power remains out in RPI buildings and Rensselaer county. Reports from poweroutage.us indicate that over 38,000 residents in Rensselaer county are out of power at the time of writing.
According to Times Union, "over 150,000 National Grid customers" in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area did not have power by 5 pm.
Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students Travis Apgar posted to the Facebook group Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Parents that the Institute is "in contact with National Grid and will provide students with updates as [the Institute has] them." His post also stated that the Commons Dining Hall, Sage Dining Hall, the Rensselaer Union, and the library will remain open until midnight, allowing students to study, charge their devices, or "wait out the outage." Apgar also reminded that "all COVID-19 protocols must be adhered to."
Apgar's post also mentioned that Public Safety will be patrolling areas of outage as they are "darker than normal." Students are advised to "use campus transportation, and travel in groups."
[Editor’s Note]: This is a developing story, and the article will be continuously updated as more information is revealed. Please continue to check back.