Major power outage in Detroit : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Power goes out to city electric customers in Detroit June 13, 2000, 3:07 PM

DETROIT (AP) -- A downtown power outage Tuesday afternoon trapped people on the People Mover and in elevators and blacked out traffic lights, government buildings and numerous schools.

"At this point we don't believe anyone's in danger. There were people stuck on elevators, but they've been removed," Michelle Zdrodowski, a spokeswoman to Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer, told television station WDIV.

Fire officials were able to rescue those caught on the elevated rail system by opening emergency doors in the back, officials said. Detroit Deputy Police Chief Paula Bridges said three main power trunk lines went out Tuesday afternoon about 12:45 p.m., causing the outages.

Police headquarters and the precinct buildings were operating on backup power generators, she said. The 911 emergency system was not affected.

All police runs were being dispatched from the precincts, though they normally would come out of headquarters.

"We're not taking any chances, we're dispatching manually," Bridges said.

Police asked motorists to treat all traffic lights as four-way stops to avoid accidents.

Zdrodowski said portable generators were being hooked up to the computers at the Detroit Public Lighting center to figure out the extent of the problem and get a better idea of when power will be back on. Repeated calls to the lighting department were met with a busy signal.

Detroit City Airport's tower was operating with emergency transceivers, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Bob Handschiegel said from the Chicago office.

"I'm not sure of delays or the impact it will cause," he said. "They are in operation, but not to the normal level."

Several dozen Detroit public schools were without power and parents were asked to pick up their children at affected elementary and middle schools, spokeswoman Francine Burgess said.

The Wayne County Jail in Detroit was in a lock down and operating on generators, though the jail did not have any security problems, spokeswoman Nancy Mouradian said.

The Detroit Tigers game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park will go as scheduled at 7:05 p.m., Tigers spokesman Tyler Barnes said.

It wasn't immediately known how many customers were affected by the outage

-- Martin Thompson (, June 13, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ