Landslip on UCC Campus: Breaking water and power lines

Published by Savannah Peterson on

Landslip on UCC campus on Jan. 7, 2021
Photo provided by The Mainstream

Landslip on UCC Campus: Breaking water and power lines

A minor landslip occurred at the north side of UCC’s campus, breaking an old water line and an underground power line, cutting off water and power to some campus buildings after heavy rains in the area. The UCC community was notified by Emergency Alert Thursday Jan. 7 at 8:16 a.m. that classes in the Tech Center, Lang Center, Tower building and Ford Family Center were cancelled due to the main water line break. The minor landslip occurred just north of the parking lot close to the gym.

The landslip on Jan. 6 2021
Photo provided by Jess Miller

Jess Miller, director of facilities and security, says, “Water has been restored to everything but the Tower building and the restrooms near the Tech Center, but the pump to bring the water up to these buildings won’t have electricity until likely Friday afternoon when Pacific Power restores electricity.”

Security Guard Tony Duarte noticed yesterday, Jan. 6, that a cut appeared in the bank and water was coming out. Duarte then notified Miller, and the cut advanced significantly by Thursday.

Miller noted that UCC has two water lines in the area where the incident occurred; one water line is for domestic water, and that is the one that broke. The other is a line of river water for potential fire use.

“This type of problem is caused by a combination of a water leak that undermined fill dirt,” Miller says. Because of the minor landslip that sloughed off and down the hillside, both the water line in this area and the nearby underground Pacific Power electrical line broke.

Sam Carter, regional business manager for Pacific Power says, “The bank slid away which compromised the underground power line which had been installed in the 1950s. My guess is the slide had to do with the rains we had.”

Landslip continuing on Jan. 8, 2021
Photo provided by Jess Miller

Hoping to get the power up by Friday afternoon, Pacific Power is going to make some temporary changes. “We’re going to do a temporary line. We will get up a pole as soon as possible. We can’t do a trench due to the slide, so we’ll get up a pole as soon as possible and run a temporary line overhead, bypassing the current line. Only the UCC campus was affected. The greatest challenge is setting the temporary pole and line in a temporary way. But, it’s not something we haven’t experienced before.” says Carter.

Although it is unsure when classes in this area will resume, Carter says, “We’re going to work hard to get power up as soon as possible.”

“The trade and skill these linemen have is exceptional. This is a trade career path that not everyone considers, and it is a wonderful one.” says Carter.

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