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Holy Cross students share power-outage experience

| Monday, February 11, 2019

Holy Cross evacuated students from the College’s residence halls after power went out across campus at about 6:25 a.m. the morning of Jan. 30. An alert was sent out to the community stating that residents would have to evacuate the dorms and board Notre Dame Transpo buses to North Dining Hall.

Holy Cross senior Noemi de La Torre said she did not realize the power was not working until she was forced to leave campus.

“Moving to Notre Dame when the power went out was kind of overwhelming. I wasn’t awake when the evacuation was initially notified, so when the girls in my dorm woke me up, I kind of freaked out. I didn’t know what to expect in an evacuation, so I grabbed some random things from my room, shoved them in my backpack, put on a few layers of clothes and got on the bus,” de La Torre said.

Residence Assistants (RAs) had the responsibility of escorting other students onto the shuttles. Holy Cross junior and RA I.C. Young said that he was awake before the start of the evacuation and noticed the temperature change right away.

“I got a text from [Residence Life],” Young said. “I’m an early riser, so I was up at 8 a.m. on my own, but all the RAs were sent a text warning us that we have lost power and will be evacuating if things didn’t change soon. Plus it was freezing so I knew the heat was off.”

Freshman Leonardo Ocampo, a freshman at Holy Cross, said the staff tried to make students feel safe during the evacuation.

“The process of moving from Holy Cross to Notre Dame was incredibly organized and fast. I was able to get dressed and head down stairs where I was escorted to a bus. It’s certainly an inconvenience getting woken up by your RA pounding at your door because the power is out, but the whole situation was an emergency evacuation, so on those terms it went as smooth as possible,” Ocampo said. “I feel safe knowing that in a case of another unfortunate accident [Holy Cross] has an efficient plan.”

Students found different ways to pass time in North Dinning Hall as they waited for power to be restored on campus. De La Torre said she became friends with another student during this time.

“My friends went home for the weekend, so I sat at a table with a guy that I had seen around campus that was friends with my friends and talked to him,” de La Torre said. “We got stuck together through the entire evacuation and got to know each other. When we realized we were going to be at Notre Dame for a while, we ate some breakfast and watched Netflix until the evacuation ended.”

As a Texas native, de La Torre said she found the extreme weather unfamiliar.

“The experience was overwhelming … I had never experienced weather bad enough to cause an evacuation, I had no idea what to bring or how long we were going to be gone, so it was kind of scary,” she added.

Power was restored to campus around noon and students returned to their residence halls by 1:30 p.m.

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