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Power Outage in the Capitol

May 15, 2002
\By: Jon Ariztimuno
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Legislators Thursday evening seemed set to debate next year's budget until seeing the light of day. Instead, they didn't see any light at all for about 45 minutes.

A power outage didn't stop the House members from pursuing hot debate about the governor's Rainy Day Fund proposal, which was defeated later in the evening.

Senators, meanwhile, had taken a break when the outage occured. Only a couple of senators stayed on the floor, with their shoeless feet propped up on their desks.

The metal detector at the entrance, the vote screens of the House floor, and the lights of every single office were incapacitated as a consequence of the power cut.

Shane Kovac, Public Information specialist at the House Media Center, said that the outage didn't cause the loss of any important information. At first, Kovac said, he was told the power wouldn't be reestablished for two or three hours.

Even though it is not confirmed yet, a failure in one of the power substations is believed to be the reason of the outage.

According to the Capitol Police, three people were trapped in the Capitol elevators.

"It really wasn't that big of a deal, we just got people out of the elevators. We have maintenance people here to get allowed to the elevators," said a Capitol Police official. The governor's mansion was also affected, he said.