April 25, 2011

Partial power outage closes Rainbow’s End

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A partial power outage forced the closure today (April 25) of Rainbow’s End Child Development Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Employees of the center arrived to discover the outage affecting cooking, telephone and lighting systems and the fire alarms, according to Darlene Waier, director of Rainbow’s End.

Waier said licensing requirements preclude the center from operating without full power, so staff called parents to come pick up their children and closed the center for the day.

The outage was not an SIUC problem but rather an Ameren/CIPS issue, according to Brad Dillard, associate director of facilities for Plant and Services Operations. He said apparently an overnight lightning strike damaged the fuses in the Ameren power feed to the building. Ameren/CIPS workers were on the scene by mid-morning and totally shut down power for about an hour beginning about 11 a.m. to make repairs, Dillard said.

Waier said she anticipates Rainbow’s End will reopen on Tuesday, April 26. The center, located at 650 S. State St. in Carbondale, provides childcare services to about 100 children.

Dillard said the Rainbow’s End partial power outage is one a variety of weather-related issues affecting campus and the utilities that power it. He said campus electrical systems have fortunately avoided problems but that the April 19 storms caused some short-term Ameren/CIPS power outages to the area of campus that includes Washington Square, Wall and Grand Apartments and Rainbow’s End. In addition, lightning apparently struck an Egyptian Electric transformer Friday night/early Saturday morning, causing power outages to several SIUC facilities in the McLaffery Road area including University Press, McLaffery Annex and Evergreen Terrace, according to Dillard.

The rain gauge at the physical plant has logged six inches of rain in recent days, Dillard said, with forecasts for as much as four to eight more inches before the soggy weather moves on mid-week.