SC - Brief Power Outage; Cause Unknown : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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Sunday, July 2, 2000

Power Outage at Bi-Lo Center Gives Rhinos Fans a 90-Minute Timeout

Not in the dark: Despite emergency lighting, the Rhinos game was suspended until the power came back on. Staff photo by Bart Boatwright.


Carolina Rhinos fans hoping to see their team knock the Richmond Speed's lights out had to wait about 90 minutes Saturday after their own lights went out.

It was the second time in three months that the Bi-Lo Center lost power during an event, but this time the backup generator went on within seconds, officials said.

Duke Power officials still weren't sure late Saturday night what had caused the power outage that darkened about 3,200 homes and businesses on the east side of downtown, not to mention the thousands attending the Arena Football League game, said Ron Davis, spokesman for Duke Power.

Ed Rubinstein, executive director of the Bi-Lo Center, said power went out Saturday at about 8:35 p.m., but the backup generator snapped on within seconds.

"It gave us enough light to move around but not enough light to play," he said.

More than two minutes remained in the second quarter, he said. "They were in the middle of action, and as a matter of fact, I think they were in the middle of a play," he said.

Power was restored and the game resumed at about 10:10 p.m., he said. The announcer told fans the game was expected to resume.

Still, many fans could be seen leaving during the outage. Rubinstein said he didn't know how many fans were in attendance.

Traffic lights along Academy, Church and Main streets and Stone Avenue all went black. Greenville police Lt. H.O. "Otho" McLauchlin said officers started directing traffic at the arena so fans could get to their cars safely.

It marked the second time in the arena's short history that it has lost power during an event. On May 2, lightning caused an outage that left more than 7,000 fans attending a Creed rock concert in the dark for 20 minutes before the backup generator turned on. Officials said they suspected a simultaneous lightning strike that struck the arena the same time Duke Power lost power, tripping the circuit breaker that protects the building's generator.

The main power was out for an hour and 15 minutes during that event, officials said.

-- (, July 02, 2000


It's the "cause unknown" part of this that gets me. How often have you seen this lately?

-- JackW (, July 02, 2000.

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