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Murray State Campus left powerless, canceling Fall Commencement


Due to heavy tornadic activity throughout western Kentucky on Friday night, Murray State University and parts of the city of Murray are without power. Both the city and the campus escaped with only minimal damage in comparison to other cities like Mayfield.

A Murray State Racer Alert emailed a warning to all students and faculty that a tornado warning was in place in Calloway County around 5:33 p.m. Friday. Residential advisors then instructed all remaining individuals on campus who hadn’t left for the winter break to go into severe weather emergency procedures.

The automated email alert system then told individuals at 6:15 p.m. that the threat to campus had passed, and it was safe to resume activities.

Murray Electric System shared a post on their Facebook page at 10:29 p.m. Friday that phone and internet services were experiencing an outage due to damage to the system’s fiber optic cables from the storms. An hour later, around 11:20 p.m, Murray State University lost power.

Murray Electric System made a statement in a Facebook post just before midnight that there was a system-wide power outage, and the utility provider had lost its electrical feed from the Tennessee Valley Authority. They shared an update one hour later at midnight that TVA transmission lines had sustained significant damage and repairs could not be attempted until the morning when the severe weather had passed.

Murray State Students who were still on campus had to endure a night without electricity. Residential advisors organized students into safe weather areas, as they waited for news to reach by word of mouth that it was safe for students to return to their dorms. It wasn’t until around 2 a.m. Saturday that most students returned to their rooms.

Murray State University was reported as still having no power on campus Saturday afternoon. The institution said in an email to students and faculty that there was no clear timeline for when power would be restored.

Murray Electric System gave an update as to the efforts of trying to restore power to the region sharing that crews are working hard to restore power as soon as possible. They did not state an intended time for when power would return.

The school also reported not having any injuries on campus during the outage.

MSU canceled their pre-scheduled Fall Commencement event for Saturday and is instead converting the CSFB Center into a shelter for displaced individuals and a location to support regional hospitals.

Campus is closed until further notice but the school will continue to update social media with developments.

Copyright 2021 WKMS. To see more, visit WKMS.

Zacharie Lamb
As a WSIU donor, you don’t simply watch or listen to public media programs, you are a partner. By making a gift, you help WSIU produce, purchase, and broadcast programs you care about and enjoy – every day of the year.