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Major Detroit Power Outage Stretches Into Second Day

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DETROIT (WWJ) - The power is still off in Detroit.

Parts of the city’s downtown and midtown districts were knocked offline Wednesday when the public lighting system experienced an overload due to excessive heat.

“Some institutional public lighting customers are experiencing service interruption caused by extreme heat, cable failure, and routine maintenance — all combining causing system overload,” said Robert Warfield, a spokesman for the Detroit Mayor’s Office.

The outage is affecting Wayne State University’s main campus, the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, the City-County building, the Detroit Historical Museum, and the People Mover — all of which are closed until further notice.

Gary Brown, the city’s chief compliance officer, said officials are not sure when the power will be restored.

“DTE has been feverishly working with this problem all throughout the night. I’ve been talking to the supervisor that is literally in the hole, so we’re certainly hopeful that we’re going to get the situation involved by mid-afternoon,” Brown told WWJ Thursday morning.

Although the outage is affecting several buildings, Brown said things could be much worse.

“Thankfully, out situation is not city-wide,” he said. “It’s limited to parts of downtown Detroit and midtown, mostly affecting city assets or city supplied facilities.”

Brown said several generators have been delivered to high-priority buildings to keep some of the electricity flowing.

“The DMC is backed up, certainly we have been delivering generators all night to facilities that needed them and we’re hopeful that the generators will supply enough power for at least the essentials of keeping the building flowing, even if it can’t be open to either students or customers,” he said.

Brown said this outage is just further proof that something needs to be done about the city’s power problems.

“The long-term solution is to invest in the grid, both DTE’s grid and the Public Lighting Department’s grid, and then transfer within the next five to seven years the grid, the city’s PLD grid, over onto DTE’s grid and then do the upgrades,” he said. “Certainly, we’ll look at the areas that are the most at risk and work on those first so that we don’t have these types of problems.”

MORE: Detroit Power Outage Due To Public Lighting ‘System Overload’

Stay with WWJ Newsradio and CBSDetroit.com for the latest.

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