Michigan Electrical problems hit Washtenaw, Livingston

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Electrical problems hit Washtenaw, Livingston

Wednesday, October 25, 2000


An apparent brownout in Dexter Township Tuesday night caused power surges that destroyed television sets, computers and other electrical equipment at several dozen homes, fire officials said.

Meanwhile, Detroit Edison customers in Pinckney, Howell and other parts of Livingston County also were without power after a transformer failed near Pinckney.

Detroit Edison spokesman Lew Layton said there was an outage affecting 40 customers in the Dexter area, but he was unaware of any brownouts or power surges.

"Normally, we do not experience power surges, and we don't know what happened or if it was a surge," Layton said.

But Dexter Area Fire Chief Loren Yates said his department responded to nearly 35 calls between 9:45 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. today after circuits shorted and produced smoke in area homes. No fires were attributed to the brownout, but it caused plenty of damage, Yates said.

"Almost all the calls were apparently power surges and it damaged a lot of TVs and VCRs," Yates said. "People were smelling the circuits and seeing smoke. We're just lucky none became a structure fire."

About 29,000 Detroit Edison customers in Livingston County and a small portion of Ingham County lost power Tuesday evening after the transformer failure at about 6:20 p.m.

"It's a piece of equipment. Sometimes they just fail," Layton said. He said power to most customers should have been restored by midnight Tuesday.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), October 25, 2000

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