Can You See Me Now?
By: Nicole Howard
On Feb. 24, 2016, the entire northeastern corner of SC experienced thunderstorms coupled with severe winds of up to 60 mph. All throughout Spartanburg, street lights were out, power lines were down, and countless tree limbs were scattered across the roads. USC Upstate was affected greatly in the wake of the storm. When the rain started, it came in torrents, laying waste to any expectations of a bright and sunny day. The rain pounded down in monsoon-like waves due to the high-speed winds.
Around 10:30 a.m., the power went out all across the USC Upstate campus. Classes were at a loss as the lights began to flicker and then went out completely, causing cancelations. Some inside attempted to continue lecturing using phone flashlights and reading aloud. Others stopped activity completely, such as lab classes, having no source of light or power. Students and professors debated on how to continue the evening, not knowing when, or if, the power would be restored by the time class rolled around.
At 12:03 p.m., an email was sent out alerting everyone that power throughout campus had been cut off and that there was no estimated time of when it would be restored.
By 12:18 p.m., another email had been sent out, notifying the closing of classes on the main campus until the power could be restored. Retail dining locations on campus were closed and the only source of food was the Dining Hall. Buildings became flooded and the campus had been transformed into a large puddle. One student, Quentin Woods, says, “It was frustrating in some ways and exciting in others. Having an unexpected break from class was welcomed, but being in the dark with no Wi-Fi was almost maddening,” when asked about the crazy weather and its havoc.
Finally, around 12:55 p.m., an email was sent out to notify everyone that power had been restored and classes were to begin again at 1 p.m. Many classes that had to be cancelled will have to be made up on other days. Another USC Upstate student says, “I don’t see why everyone was so excited. Now we have to make it up on our time.” The rain and wind have subsided, but there is still much to fix.