Haehl Pavilion gymnasium was evacuated Wednesday night at approximately 6:20 p.m. when a transformer explosion caused a college-wide power outage at Santa Rosa Junior College’s Santa Rosa campus.
SRJC District Police Officer Brandon Fleetwood said 60 mph winds and heavy rain from a Bay Area storm caused the transformer’s failure.
Josh Adams, dean of business and professional studies, witnessed the explosion.
“We saw the field light up and thought it was lightning,” Adams said. “The power went out with the first flash. The second flash finished the job.”
The Harlem Globetrotters were performing their Fan Powered World Tour in Haehl Pavilion when the power cut out. Students and community members were lined up for the event when authorities called it off.
Kirstie Anderson, 41, was parking when the coordinators of the event told her it was cancelled; the event was rescheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 20.
“My husband and I walked up [to Haehl Pavilion] anyways just to see if the power would come back on, but people were just leaving,” Anderson said.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office extended a county-wide flood warning until 8:15 p.m. due to “very heavy rainfall.”
SRJC District Police have provided no further information.