Update on Detroit power outage

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Wednesday, June 14, 2000 L O C A L N E W S

Most Power Restored Reported by Cheryl Chodun Web produced by Rachel L. Miller

City officials said it might take a little longer to get power back to all city-owned facilities. [Video] City officials changed their strategy Wednesday to get full power back to city-owned facilities following Tuesday's massive power outage in Detroit.

Officials said it will be harder to restore full power and it might take a little longer, because instead of using up all three cables that went down, they've decided to find a more permanent solution.

By midmorning Wednesday, 72 percent of the power was back on.

"We're trying to make sure we get power restored to our senior buildings and to the police precincts," Greg Bowens, the mayor's spokesman, said.

The city used its Y2K plan and Y2K generators, but there are questions whether the power outage could have been prevented.

Three cables were down between Detroit Edison's plant and the city's power plant by 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, but the first line failed Monday. Detroit Edison officials said when the first line went down, there was a warning that reducing power was necessary to prevent any problems.

"That's a lot of hearsay and rumor," Bowens said. "We don't know anything about anybody telling us to cut back on power."

"The conversations were about the line loading, again, stressing where the line limits were," Edward Hanson, from Detroit Edison, said.

"There was no discussion with me, but there was shop talk, apparently, between employees saying maybe you want to reduce the load," Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer said.

Edison's log showed there were warnings on Monday and Tuesday.

"We're not worried about running around trying to figure out about what happened earlier," Bowens said. "We're trying to make sure we get it fixed. Once we get it fixed, then we'll try to be sure it doesn't happen again."

All nonessential midnight shift employees in all departments in the city of Detroit are told not to come to work Wednesday night. The number to call for that information is 313-224-NEWS.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), June 14, 2000

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