Power shut-off possible again with low temperatures

Kate Russell/The News; A student sleds during one of last year’s snow days.

On Jan. 6, 2014, Tennessee Valley Authority, or TVA, required Murray State to shut off power to conserve energy and it has a chance to happen again.

The contract requires the University to power down during low temperatures due to a high demand for energy. The contract, called 5MR (five minute response) gives Murray State a five-minute notice before TVA can suspend 11,500 kilowatts of power to the University. Signed in September 2010, the contract lasts five years.

During last year’s power outage, the residential side of campus maintained power from generators, however the academic side did not have power.

The lack of power and cold temperatures caused damage to 40 percent of Murray State’s buildings through frozen pipes, flooding and leaky ceilings.

In an email sent today to the University on behalf of President Bob Davies, it stated that as of Dec. 15, 2014, there was an unlikely possibility that the University could shut down, but the risk of a shutdown has now been increased to moderate for tonight.

According to weather.com, Murray is forecasted to have temperatures dropping as low as three degrees and surrounding cities may see temperatures into the negatives.

The email stated that Facilities Management will be notified by TVA should a shutdown be required, which will then be shared with the University community.

Students living in the residential halls may have to be moved, as 37 students during the Jan. 6 shutdown were moved to the Sid Easley Alumni Center. However, such information will be relayed to the University during a possible shutdown.

At the time, the University community is asked through the email to work with their departments and areas to prepare for a possible shutdown and to reduce unnecessary power usage. There has not been official notice of a shutdown, but an alert of a possibility.

Story by Mary Bradley, Editor-in-Chief