Squirrel Causes Weekend Power Outage; CSI Scrambles to Recover Data [The Times-News, Twin Falls, Idaho]
(Times-News (Twin Falls, ID) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sept. 23--TWIN FALLS -- A power outage Saturday that shut down electricity to four buildings on the College of Southern Idaho, affecting databases and computer systems across the campus, was caused by a squirrel.
Idaho Power now says the outage was caused by a squirrel that got into equipment near Fillmore Street, said Doug Maughan, CSI public relations director.
An Idaho Power spokeswoman was unavailable Monday morning.
"Even though our power outages are rare, I think half of them are caused by squirrels. Those little rascals get into places that they shouldn't be," Maughan said.
Though the outage was brief, Maughan said, it might have caused a power surge -- very damaging from a digital standpoint.
"It's been described as like having a computer with no mouse or keyboard," he said. "You can see (data) is there, but can't get to it. ... It's there backed up. They want to access it through live data stream and not through backups."
Maughan said an emergency shipment of data storage components was sent this weekend, and another is coming in Monday. He said CSI is working with Dell; all the equipment is under warranty.
"Eventually they'll do a larger fix than this, but now we are just trying to get back on our feet," Maughan said.
Student and employee email is still down, though Maughan said some are able to access email indirectly.
"There was no compromise to payroll data or financial aid, but some of it will require more time to get to," Maughan said.
Classes in Twin Falls and Burley were not delayed; however, a number of phones in both locations still are not working.
All printers on the Twin Falls campus are networked and are down.
Maughan said the college is still receiving reports that individual IP phones, or phones that are connected through computers and not telephone systems, may need to be replaced.
"MyCSI is not working and has kept a number of dual students from registering by a deadline last Saturday. We are still working on that," Maughan said.
The buildings without power on Saturday were Taylor, Fine Arts, Evergreen and Hepworth.
"Here in the Taylor Building is where our network servers, basically the brains of our phones and computer systems, reside. In spite of protections and redundancies that should have protected our equipment from getting fried, it got through," Maughan said. "Later this afternoon we are hoping to get things more back to normal."
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