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Burnaby campus power outage May 16 - UPDATE 10:50pm

March 11, 2010

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POWER RESTORED

BC Hydro has fully restored power to the Burnaby campus and UniverCity. It had been turned off on Sunday while Hydro crews installed new high-voltage lines on Burnaby Mountain.

Your "@sfu.ca" e-mail is back in action.

But the restoration of power did not mean that all I.T. systems are back to normal. An I.T. crew will be at work overnight, but it is possible that some services will not be fully restored by Monday morning.


Previous Message:

Critical impact of May 16 power outage

On Sunday May 16, BC Hydro will cut all power to the Burnaby campus and all its buildings from approximately 7:30 am to 5:30 pm while Hydro crews install a new high-voltage tower and lines.

IMPORTANT UPDATE (May 11, 2010):  Hydro advised us on May 11 that the outage now will affect UniverCity, including the condos and apartments, Cornerstone and The Hub.

This means that food services and retail outlets in Cornerstone and The Hub will have no power, and services will not be available. Standby generators will maintain life-safety systems.

BC Hydro is advising UniverCity residents and commercial tenants of this planned outage.

Hydro is also advising UniverCity residents and commercial tenants that a second outage will occur the following Sunday, May 23, also from 7:30 am to 5 pm. This outage will affect only the residential buildings at UniverCity, including the Cornerstone and The Hub.

(Discovery Park/Fraser International College and the Water Tower Buildings will not be affected by either power cut, however.)


Here is a rundown of the major implications for SFU and its people: 

FIRST: All university-scheduled events and services will be cancelled for the day. All buildings on the Burnaby campus will be locked.  With the exception of a few areas where there will be emergency power, all ventilation and lighting systems will be shut down.

 

Faculty, staff and students are therefore strongly urged not to come to the Burnaby campus during the power shutdown.

 

SECOND:  Almost all I.T. services and computers at SFU will be out of action. That includes many Surrey campus and Vancouver campus services that depend on I.T. service from the Burnaby campus.

Orderly shutdowns of I.T. services will begin as early as Saturday afternoon. Among other things, there will be no access to “@sfu.ca” e-mail from 5 a.m. Sunday May 16 until all power and circuits are fully restored.

 

THIRD: All faculty, staff, students and others on the Burnaby campus should shut down all personal computers, in-office servers, and other electronic devices cleanly before the outage. And then unplug them, to minimize the possibility of equipment or system damage.

Here’s what to expect, and what to do:

E-MAIL: Users of the SFU webmail service (SFU Connect) will not be able to access SFU Connect to read, or send or receive e-mail from 5am Sunday May 16 until all systems are fully restoredYou will not be able to access SFU e-mail from anywhere, on or off campus.

E-mail sent to you at your @sfu.ca address by an outside mail service (such as GMail, Hotmail, Yahoo!, GMX Mail, etc.) will not get through during this shutdown. Your SFU e-mail address will not auto-forward incoming mail to you at another e-mail address or device. Forwarding of alumni e-mail will also be shut down.

If you are expecting important e-mail during the outage, we suggest you advise senders now about the coming shutdown, and advise them to reach you via some other, non-SFU, e-mail address if you have one.

INTERNET ACCESS: You will not be able to access the internet from the Burnaby campus or the Vancouver campus during the shutdown.

Users at the Surrey campus may (repeat may) be able to use their own computers and access the internet. Regardless, they will not be able to access or use SFU Connect e-mail from the Surrey campus during the shutdown.  We suggest you do not count on internet access at Surrey on May 16. 


SFU WEBSITES: 
There will be no access to any SFU websites during the shutdown. Anyone who tries to access the main www.sfu.ca site during the outage will be taken to a special webpage that explains what is happening, and lets people know when normal service will resume.

WIRELESS ACCESS:  During the shutdown, there will be no access on the Burnaby campus or the Vancouver campus to wireless services such as SFUNet, SFUNET-SECURE, eduroam or RezNet.  (RezNet is the internet service for those in SFU Residence units on the Burnaby campus.)

Network connectivity and wireless access may (repeat may) be available on the Surrey campus. Again, though, we suggest you do not count on internet access at Surrey on May 16 for work that is urgent or has a deadline attached.


LIBRARY SERVICES: 
The WAC Bennett Library on the Burnaby campus will be closed during the power outage. The library's website and associated online services—catalogue, electronic journals, and other online resources—may (repeat may) be available. This assumes that secondary power sources are sufficient for library servers and network services to the library. We suggest you do not count on this.

The Belzberg Library at Harbour Centre will be closed. So will the Fraser Library at Surrey.

SECURITY and SAFETY: Standby generators will maintain life-safety and security systems on campus. All buildings will be locked during the power shutdown. Locks controlled by electronic access cards will not work.

The 27 “blue emergency phones” by which you can reach Campus Security in an emergency on the Burnaby campus will be out of action. But you will be able to contact Security at 778-782-4500 in an emergency by way of other phones. Extra security guards will be on patrol.

LIGHTING and VENTILATION: Most lighting, ventilation and air-conditioning systems are not on emergency circuits, and will be shut off.

(SFU Facilities Services has heard from a number of departments that have identified truly urgent needs for power during the planned outage. These will be accommodated by way of emergency and backup generators.)

PARKING: For safety reasons, all parkades on the Burnaby campus will be closed fromSaturday evening May 15 through Sunday evening May 16. (The exact hours depend on safety requirements.) This closure includes Convocation Mall reserved parking, Convocation Mall visitor parking, West Mall reserved parking, and the West Mall visitor's parkade. If you normally park in any of these areas and need to be on campus during the power outage please park in C Lot, B Lot, or G Lot.
If you have a disabled person's parking permit and need to be on campus during the power outage please contact SFU Parking Services at parking@sfu.ca or 778-782-5534 and SFU will do its best to accommodate you. 
If you or your department are hosting an event that overlaps the parkade closure or power-outage period, and parking is required for that event, please contact the Parking Services office to ensure that your event needs are met.

TELEPHONES: SFU’s phone system is expected to continue in operation, but voicemail will not work. Cellphone service on Burnaby Mountain may be affected. (This depends on what arrangements that Telus, Rogers and Bell can or will make for back-up power in addition to their normal backup batteries. The same goes for their wireless services that use repeaters on the Burnaby campus.)

ELEVATORS: The only elevators that will be working during the outage are in the Residence Towers. All others including those at UniverCity will be shut down.

FOOD SERVICES:  Normal food services on the Burnaby campus or at Cornerstone/The Hub will not be available during the shutdown. Some services may be limited on Saturday May 15 as food outlets prepare for the outage by removing foods from affected freezers and refrigerators. 

The Residence dining hall will be closed.

Vending machines on the Burnaby campus will be out of service during the outage.

RESIDENCES: Two buildings (Louis Riel and Hamilton Hall) will not have operating elevators during the outage. The RezNet internet connection will be down during the shutdown. Buildings will have only limited and emergency lighting and ventilation. The dining hall is closed.

RECREATION: Gyms, fitness centre, pool, change rooms, and other areas and services will be closed. 


UNIVERCITY, DISCOVERY PARK:
 Homes and businesses at UniverCity will also be affected. Discovery Park/Fraser International College and the Water Tower buildings will not affected.

EMERGENCY GENERATORS: A number of emergency generators will be used to provide power for essential services. A full crew of electricians and mechanics will be on the Burnaby campus to monitor, refuel and service them as needed.

OTHER SERVICES:  For those who use normally use internal I.T. services such as SIMS, HAP, GoSFU and FINS, there will be no service at all from 3pm Saturday May 15 until all systems are back online. As well, you will not be able to access shared servers at SFU during the shutdown.

The Simon Hotel will be open, but will have only limited services and facilities during the outage.

 

The SFU Alerts system, which the university uses to send major emergency messages, will be able to operate if needed. It will not be able to send e-mails to @sfu.ca addresses while the e-mail servers are down. But it will be able to send emergency messages to non-SFU e-mail addresses, and via phone calls to home, office or cellphones you have registered. It will also be able to send text messages (SMS) to mobile devices, and via Instant Messaging (AIM/AOL, MSN, and Yahoo!).

BEFORE THE OUTAGE: All faculty, staff, students and others on the Burnaby campus should shut down all personal computers, in-office servers, and other electronic devices cleanly before the outage. And then unplug them, to minimize the possibility of equipment or system damage.

RETURNING TO NORMAL: While we expect all systems to return to normal when the power comes on, we have never faced such a complete shutdown before. The surge of power demand as the circuits are re-energized can potentially cause problems. SFU’s I.T. department will have a full crew on hand to monitor the restarts, and to tackle any problems.

  • If you have questions about the power outage please e-mail Dana Sundmark of SFU Facilities Services at dsa17@sfu.ca.
  • If you have questions about I.T. services, please e-mail help@sfu.ca.

    Please note that these two e-mail addresses will be out of service during the outage.

Please be alert for updates and revisions that may follow prior to May 16. Watch www.sfu.caand here for updates and alerts.



Comments

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Delphine Umutoni

Well at least this is an early warning. I think life, between 8am to 6pm, will be different but hope they fix the lines faster.

Robyn Burgess

I'd like to know why WEBCT has been shut down prematurely (i.e. on May 15) when the notices have advertised that the power outage will start on May 16. I was in the middle of accessing my course information when the server gave up the ghost....

Steve Ray

Robyn, if you look at the notice above, you will see that many of the IT services were to start shutting down on Saturday.

Orderly shutdowns of I.T. services will begin as early as Saturday afternoon. Among other things, there will be no access to �@sfu.ca� e-mail from 5 a.m. Sunday May 16 until all power and circuits are fully restored.

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