Power outage on campus traps passenger in elevator

SMC staff work on elevator that briefly trapped a passenger at Drescher Hall. A power outage on the main campus of SMC affected four structures on site and trapped a passenger in an elevator inside Drescher Hall at approximately 10:11 a.m. on Tuesday, February 23. According to campus police, the lone passenger caught within the elevator was evacuated by Santa Monica Fire Department officials and sustained no injuries.

Bruce Wyban, Chief Director of Facilities at Santa Monica College, said, “The #3 Parking structure, Admissions, Business, and Drescher building were all affected as a result of the outage which was localized primarily to the north side of the campus.”

Power outages on campus are not uncommon, as Wyban went on to describe that the response from the SMFD was quick, with the removal process taking less than ten minutes.

The outage was the result of an issue with an overhead transformer on 9th street east of Olympic Blvd. In total, the outage lasted about 50 minutes. Robert Laffoon-Villegas, a representative from Southern California Edison (SCE) told The Corsair, “the outage initially affected 3,255 SCE customers in an area bounded by 17th Street, Commonwealth, Ocean, and Arizona Avenue. By 11:01 a.m., power had been restored to everyone but two customers — and those remaining two customers had their power restored by noontime.”

In addition to SMC, the power outage also affected the Santa Monica Courthouse, Santa Monica High School, and several hotels according to the Santa Monica Daily Mirror, which reported that, "evacuations saw people spill on the lawns and parking lots" at the courthouse.

This was not the first instance of a major outage affecting the campus either. On September 18, 2012, the college lost power following a precautionary evacuation due to a bizarre smell that was mistaken for a gas leak.

For more info on emergency procedures during a power outage see the “Emergency Preparedness” page on the SMC website.