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UPDATE: Storms cause power outage at Memorial Stadium

Thursday, October 8, 2009 | 10:40 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Few heard Sara Evans perform the national anthem to the crowd at Memorial Stadium on Thursday night, but she sang on anyway. 

With less than an hour to go before Missouri's football team took on Nebraska, the power went out around the stadium. An announcement on a scoreboard on the south end of the field attributed the problems to a campuswide power outage.

The stadium's new video scoreboard, which came with a $3.5 million price tag, remained dark.

Although partial power was restored around 7:10 p.m., the audio and public address systems remained down well past the start of the game.

With no audio system available, Evans — a country singer from New Franklin who's also famous for a third-season appearance on "Dancing With the Stars" — knew she would be singing with no sound. According to an official with Columbia/Boone County Public Safety Joint Communications, Evans still wanted to perform anyway. The show went on.

There was little panic at the stadium. The band still played for the team's entrance on to the field, but there was no introductory video for the players before they took the field. The game started on time.

Several buildings near the stadium also lost power, including Lathrop, Laws and Jones residence halls. A security officer at the Missouri Psychiatric Center said the center lost power throughout the building, including on the patients' floors. Partial power was later restored with a generator.

University Hospital also relied on power from a generator.

MU Campus Facilities could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

A run on ponchos

After rainy forecasts, Tiger fans flooded to Columbia retailers to grab ponchos Thursday afternoon.

By 2 p.m., few ponchos were left on the shelves, and most of those remaining were red. Tiger fans were left scrambling to find an alternative way to stay dry at the game.

All three Walmarts in Columbia sold out of ponchos. The West Broadway location ran out Wednesday.

Walgreens, MC Sports, Dick’s Sporting Goods and the MU Bookstore also sold all their stock Thursday.

But ponchos were not the only pieces of rain gear running low.

“Nobody has rain boots,” Cynthia Speckman said Thursday. “People were fighting over them at Shoe Carnival.”

Parking problems minor

Despite fears that the parking situation would be chaotic, officers with the MU Police Department, had encountered few problems an hour after public lots opened.

“Parking’s going fine,” Weimer said. “It’s normal.”

While parking issues were minor, many tailgaters had to adapt to the weather.

In the Maryland Avenue parking garage, fans tailgated in the aisles between vehicles, grilled food and tossed footballs.

With less than an hour before kickoff, crowd control officer Lezlie McCarty patrolled the area outside the entrance gates of Memorial Stadium, informing ticket holders by megaphone to leave their umbrellas outside.

Those who did not return to their cars were allowed to leave their umbrellas outside the gates near where event staff stood checking tickets. Robbie McMorris, a member of the event staff, estimated that three-fourths of those with umbrellas left them outside the gates; the rest took them back to their cars.

Missourian reporters Anna Moeslein, Hayley Tsukayama, Caitlyn Emmett, Han Cheung, Nikki Tekeei, Sam Wilson, Jeremy Essig and Kaylee Nelson contributed to this report.

 

 


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