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Blackout in B.C. remains a mystery

Power was lost in the Bryan Center for nearly two hours Thursday until around 3:30 p.m. when emergency generators took effect, several sources confirmed.

"I have no idea what happened," said Jim Slaughter, manager of special events services, whose office is located in the basement of the Bryan Center. "I couldn't see my hand in front of my face."

Slaughter said he was not sure why it took two hours for the emergency generators to restore power and noted that it can be difficult to identify the cause of the blackout.

"[The problem] doesn't have to happen in the immediate vicinity," he said. "It could be a squirrel crossing a generator somewhere."

Several restaurants, stores and other businesses were forced to shut down during the outage, said Twanda Whitten, an employee of the Duke University Computer Store.

"Everything went out-the computers, the registers, the server-everything," she said.

Despite the outage, the Duke Red Cross conducted the second day of its scheduled blood drive in the Von Canon Room.

"As long as we could see where we were putting the needles, we kept going," Red Cross employee Ray Arrington said. "A lot of the equipment has back-up batteries."

Aurel Selezeanu, assistant director for electrical services, could not be reached for comment Thursday.


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