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Lightning causes NIU phone outage

April 17, 2013

lightning[1]A lightning strike at approximately 8:30 a.m. Wednesday knocked out telephone communications systems on Northern Illinois University’s DeKalb campus as well as facilities in Hoffman Estates, Naperville, Rockford and at the NIU Family Health, Wellness and Literacy Center.

The university’s network has not been compromised as a result of the lightning strike, and internet and email communications remain uninterrupted. Mobile communications have not been affected. Additionally, VOIP communications capabilities remain intact.

NIU issued an advisory notifying the campus community of the situation and instructing students, faculty and staff to be alert and aware of severe weather in the area. Severe thunderstorms are forecast throughout the day and into tomorrow.

Emergency response capabilities by NIU’s Department of Police and Public Safety have not been compromised. Bill Nicklas, vice president for Public Safety and Community Relations, reports that despite the land line phone problems, “NIU police are able to respond to emergencies as needed. In an emergency, students, faculty and staff are advised to dial 9-1-1.”  The Department of Police and Public Safety’s non-emergency number, 815-753-1212, is also in operation.

Technical personnel continue to work diligently to restore service. As of 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, an estimated time frame for service restoration was not available.

Additionally, the NIU Police Department’s Late Night Ride Service will not be operational this evening due to severe weather conditions.

Students wishing to reach Health Services should visit the department’s website at for contact information.

The NIU PD’s Late Night Ride Service will not be operational this evening due to severe weather conditions.

Updates will be made as they become available at the NIU Safety Bulletin website, through the NIU Safety Bulletins Facebook page, Twitter (@NIUSafety) in addition to NIU Today.