MI: Detroit Imposes Brownout

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DETROIT (AP) -- Power to schools, police and
fire stations and other public buildings and
street lights was turned off Thursday to avoid
a repeat of the four-day power outage that
struck earlier this summer.

AltaVista Live

-- spider (spider0@usa.net), September 01, 2000


Who's Responsible For Outage? Reported by Mike Huckman Web produced by Affaf Arabbo

Power outages in Detroit prompted finger-pointing Thursday night while city residents struggled to cope without power.

At the seat of elected political power in Detroit, a debate unfolded that involved the politics of electrical power in the city.

At 10 a.m. DTE informed the city of the possibility of a power outage. An hour later the city told its employees to conserve at their work stations. But it wasn't enough.

At 1 p.m. the city cut power on the west side and at 2:30 p.m. a tie line failed. About a half an hour later the city cut power to the east side to avoid a system-wide crash.

The mayor's office blamed DTE and the city council who in turn both blamed the mayor.

"We need to get beyond the finger-pointing and become part of the solution," said City Councilman Ken Cockrel, Jr.

Questions arose in the debate that were central to the cause of the power outage.

Who is responsible for the faulty tie line, 189?

"Tie line (189) is operated and owned by Detroit Edison," said Greg Bowens, Mayor Archer's spokesman.

"That line, line 189 is predominantly owned by the public lighting department," said Robert Buckler of DTE Energy.

Why does the city have only three main tie lines?

"We have talked to city council to increase the tie lines," said Bowens.

Councilman Cockrel disputed that claim saying, "If that comment was made, it's untrue."

Cockrel said the city came to council with an incomplete proposal.

"I don't think we can deny the fact it is an embarrassment. Clearly, there are serious problems that we have to address," said Cockrel.

Cockrel also went on to say that public lighting department officials promised to come back before council with a more detailed proposal when the council's summer recess ends next week. He said that he plans to push the council to put this problem at the very top of its agenda.

As of Thursday evening, crews worked to fix the tie line that failed at Jefferson and Livernois in order to restore power to traffic lights on the east and northwest side of the city.

Mayor Archer's spokesman said the fact that schools would be closed Friday for the holiday would help avoid putting a strain on the power system.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), September 01, 2000.

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