UPDATE: Power restored to University campus

The University employed the Illini Alert system for the second time tonight, informing those sign up for it that “A power failure affected most of the Urbana campus tonight. Power has been restored and Monday classes will be held.”

As of 10:25 p.m., the Web sites under the University’s domain, like the University homepage, CITES Express E-mail and Compass were still inaccessible.

Previously some residence halls in Urbana had power restored shortly before 8:30 p.m. Sunday.

A text message and e-mail were sent to those signed up through the Illini Alert system around 6:30 p.m. As it grew darker and it became clear power would not be available for some time, officials made the decision to alert students to tune into local media for more information.

A failure at an Ameren sub-station in Sidney, Ill. cut power to the campus at about 3:15 p.m., according to a media release from the University. Officials were in communication with Ameren representatives during the day, but as the afternoon progressed, it became clear an alternate source of power would be necessary to “get research facilities through,” Kaler said.

Alyssa Miller, freshman in DGS, is a resident in Weston Hall, and said the outage was, in a way, relaxing.

“It’s fun. Everyone is out in the hall, socializing,” Miller said. “It’s a way to procrastinate.”

The University Police Department sent out extra patrols to ease student concerns about safety, especially in the residence halls, said University Chief of Police Barbara O’Connor.

“We felt it was appropriate to have an additional presence on campus,” O’Connor said. “If people are concerned or if something comes up, we’re able address any issues with a few extra police.”

O’Connor said that emergency phones were still working, and that students who had been stuck in elevators because of the outage were able to use the phones in the elevators to call for assistance. She said everyone who had been stuck is now free.

Kathleen Foody, Eric Heisig, Jen Wheeler, Marie Wilson and Rachel Small contributed to this report