WEBSTER GROVES - Webster University was one of several locations that lost power on Wednesday, forcing the institution to cancel its classes. As of 10 p.m. the campus remained in the dark
“It’s going to be fun, we are going to have a little sleep over now,” said Nate Garner who lives in campus housing located on Big Bend Road. He and a friend packed pillows and blankets heading to another friend’s apartment with power just down the street.
“I’ve got my bag I got my hat, I got my tent, if I’ve gotta sleep under a bridge tonight I’m ready,” said freshman, Matt West.
University officials said that more than 300 students living on campus had to pack up their most necessary belongings and find a place to crash for the night.
Some of the students told Fox 2 that they live too far from home but some much-needed parental advice came in handy.
“I live five hours away so they were really concerned,” said Amaryha Williams, “so they said ‘Just get a hotel so you can feel like you’re at home.’”
University officials said that years ago the campus dealt with the same problem but not to this extent.
“It’s a really unique and odd scenario that we are dealing with,” said John Buck, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs.
“They (Ameren) have gotten around the campus area, where some power has been restored, but we just happen to occupy a big chunk of the grid that will take a little bit longer.”
The campus has been working all day to take care of its students and faculty the best way possible.
“They did a big cookout with burgers,” said Buck, “they brought out the grills for hot dogs and brats and veggie burgers for about 300 people and tonight they’ve got Jet’s Pizza coming in.”
For some nearby restaurants, no electricity meant dealing with several Valentine’s Day cancellations.
“We lost business for lunch today, unfortunately,” said Dominic Weiss, head chef at Big Sky Café.
“We never want to disappoint anybody but we did have to turn a few people away and it makes it challenging to get ready for Valentine’s Day evening.”
The power outage may have been widespread on Valentine’s Day but one thing was apparent, the love of the community coming together had an even bigger impact.
“It’s super nice to have people that are supporting us and that we have somewhere to go,” said Garner.
The nearby Repertoire Theater also had to cancel its programming for the evening.
University officials said based on Ameren’s information, it would be several more hours before power is restored.