Downtown Detroit Hit With Major Power Outage


DETROIT - CBS NEWS - A power outage affected multiple buildings in downtown Detroit on Tuesday, including the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, the City-County building and Joe Louis Arena.

The downtown electrical grid failed at around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, impacting 100 Detroit Public Lighting Department customers, reports CBS Detroit.

"The city's public lighting grid suffered a major cable failure that has caused the entire grid to lose power," the city said in a statement. "The outage is affecting all customers on the PLD grid. We have isolated the issue and are working to restore power as soon as possible."

Streets lights are out, as well as power to some buildings on the campus Wayne State University.

Several public schools and firehouses are also without power. Detroit Public Schools announced it would close all schools early Tuesday due to the outage.

The Detroit People Mover temporarily suspended service due to the outage, and the Detroit Historical Museum and Detroit Institute of Arts announced they would be closed for the rest of the day.

An official with the Detroit Fire Department told CBS News the outage is not affecting residential areas, and is instead only hitting the Public Lighting Division. Its cause is still unknown.

Detroit-based DTE Energy Co., which often assists the city with power issues, says it's checking into the problem and would have information soon.

There are several elevators where people are stuck inside. Specifically, people are being rescued in the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center in downtown Detroit

Numerous buildings were evacuated.

Officials are indicating there's a problem with the downtown power grid.

Officials at the Detroit Medical Center, which is operating on a backup system during the outage, attributed the problem to "outdated public lighting department equipment."

"DRH leadership emphasized the fact that all patients are safe and being well cared for," reads a statement from the hospital. "All emergency power systems are working effectively. Detroit Medical Center (DMC) facility leadership and DTE, from whom the DMC buys all of it's power, is working together with PLD to resolve the problem."

All emergency trauma patients were being diverted to other trauma level 1 institutions, including Henry Ford and St. John's Main, as a precaution.

Ongoing problems with Detroit's decrepit electrical grid have been a continuing concern in the bankrupt city, and outages such as this are not uncommon.

Attributed to "system overload," a widespread Detroit Public Lighting outage in the summer of 2013 shut down power to WSU, the courthouse, the City-County building, and midtown museums for two days.