Raccoon causes Friday night power outage on west side; Epic Systems relies on generators for hours

Epic Systems C3k

VERONA, Wis. – Epic Systems is back with power following Friday night’s widespread outage on Madison’s west side.

Epic told News 3 Now early Saturday morning the outage was caused by a raccoon at a power station on McKee and Pleasant View.

As of 12:15 AM Saturday morning, many of the 10,000 Alliant Energy Customers without power had gotten electricity back, but Epic had not.

We have an automatic annunciation system at Epic that tells us when we have an issue and we all respond to that,” said Facilities Director Bruce Richards.  “Our site went on generators in two minutes total. We made a call to Alliant to figure out what’s going on and at that point, they still didn’t know what was down, so they’re still investigating.”

Richards said this is the first time in his 10-plus years with the company a complete outage had occurred. The Epic Campus was running on 18 generators, which have about a 50-hour lifespan – which depends on the energy demand on campus at the time.

I think it’s the first time it’s been like this where we’ve been without power as long as we are right now,” said Brad Gould, who also works within Epic’s Facilities department. “We’ve had some little dips here and there and we have some nice emergency stuff there in place to take care of that stuff – take care of the campus when that happens.”

We have all of our customers who are hospitals and medical clinics, that need our data and our support to stay online,” Richards said. “It’s important that we stay powered up.”