DETROIT (WWJ) – A power failure in downtown Detroit will keep the Coleman A Young Municipal Center and Wayne State University closed Friday.  The outage, which occurred Thursday afternoon, stretches from Wayne State into downtown.

Mayoral spokeswoman Karen Dumas told WWJ’s Gary Lundy late Thursday that the building will remain closed Friday.  City employees are not required to report to work, according to Dumas.  She said three tie lines have failed meaning there is no power at city buildings, for traffic lights and some schools.

Also closed Friday will be the Wayne County Probate Court at the CAYMC.  A statement from the court said the “Probate Court anticipates reopening on Monday, June 13 at 8:00 a.m.”

A message posted on the Wayne State University website said due to the power outage the main campus would be closed and all classes cancelled Friday.

WWJ’s Lance Howard reported traffic lights were out stretching from I-94 to Jefferson Ave. and from the Lodge Freeway to I-75.

WWJ’s Florence Walton reports police and fire crews were at city hall when the power grid went down around 2:30 Thursday afternoon.   The Coleman A Young Municipal Center, which houses city offices and some Wayne County Courts, were evacuated. According to Dumas, the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) does have power.

Wayne State University canceled classes for Thursday evening because they have no power in some buildings.  Wayne County Community College District’s downtown campus and administration building also lost power.

The Detroit People mover suspended service at 2:30 p.m. Thursday due to a loss of power in its downtown service area.

WWJ’s Pat Sweeting spoke with Wayne County employee Evette Pettiford who was working at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice when she heard word of the spreading blackout at about 3 p.m..

“I don’t think we quite believed them until the power actually went out and we were all sitting there in the dark. And then they came over with the loudspeakers in maybe about fifteen minutes and told us that we had to leave,” said Pettiford, adding that she was grateful she only had to walk down a few flights of stairs.

“Thank goodness, just four … it was fine. I don’t have the best knees in the world, but I made it. It was good. They had police officers there with flashlights,” she said.

So, what caused the power failure?

Chris Brown, Detroit’s Chief Operating Officer, said the problems were created by tie lines — the lines that connect DTE with the city’s office buildings.

“We’ve historically had some issues on those tie lines. One of them went out last night. We were helped by DTE.  Two of them when out this afternoon, so, we’re working on it right now,” he said.

The second line went out at 1:40 p.m.; the third at about 1:55 p.m., after which everything went dark.

Brown said it’s all because of the heat.

DTE Energy is assisting in restoring the power, which was expected to take 24 hours.

Keep it tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 for the latest.

Comments (47)
  1. Tony says:

    The City of Detroit owns the failed power lines and DTE is assisting…correct?

    1. mike says:

      Global warming.

  2. Jim says:

    Is this the same city that wastes water because dumb &^%$ open hydrants, and then charge the suburbs an exorbiant rate? Yes, it is!
    Also, how does a situation help an all electric car that needs charging? I’m just sayin’.

  3. Joannesd says:

    Just wait till the mandatory battery operated electric cars get pluged in to re charge…

  4. ChasVoice says:

    We thought Detroit had been in the dark since 2003. Will wonders never cease.

  5. borax johnson says:

    Gonna be a hot time in the old town tonight!

  6. annonymous says:

    That’s OK, there’s hardly anyone there anymore.

  7. Joe says:

    Why do they even need power if they’re already dead ?

    1. Pontes says:

      Read a cookbook (new to you) and try the eiprces! You can buy new or used and the library has many titles on offer. Try the smoothie and tea recipe books too.

  8. Black Advocate says:

    Feral residents loot, burn and run amok.

  9. robert says:

    Is there anything there worth looting?

  10. AtlasObjectivist says:

    Power outage….. what? LMAO, there’s no power outage, it was the last person leaving turning out the lights.

  11. noblacksinarehood says:

    they all are moving out da hood to canton , westland into yourzz naborhood lol

  12. dc says:

    It’s George Bushes FAULT !

  13. Illini says:

    Just turn off the lights when everyone leaves….

  14. Joe says:

    Ahh, brilliant. Wait for infrastructure to decay, then when it fails, blame climate change. Wish I’d thought of that!

  15. rex dart eskimo spy says:

    just wait until the new epa regs kick in and all those coal fired power plants shut down. It will be a green healthy paradise. I wonder if Mi will find a way to tax the trees?

    and the term “blackout” is so racist. shouldnt the obama administration and eric holder begin an investigation?

  16. john says:

    I certainly hope they restore the power before nightfall.
    Without any power and working lights, anti-social punks (you know who I am talking about) will be running around the city raising hell and no one will be able to see them coming.

    1. chicagoannie says:

      hee hee heee – THIS made me laugh – thanks John!

      1. Ahmed says:

        Maggie H Posted on here some good namesGIRLS1 Maggie2 Molly3 Lady4 Sadie5 Lucy6 Daisy7 Ginger8 Abby9 Sasha10 Sandy11 Dakota12 Katie13 Annie14 Chelsea15 Princess16 Missy17 Sophie18 Bo19 Coco20 Tasha21.Dixie22.Sashta23.Kya24.JasmenBOYS 1 Max2 Jake3 Buddy4 Bailey5 Sam6 Rocky7 Buster8 Casey9 Cody10 Duke11 Charlie12 Jack13 Harley14 Rusty15 Toby16 Murphy17 Shelby18 Sparky19 Barney20 Winston21.Odis22.Milo23.Skooter24.Phonizlol i put miagge in there bc my names miagge but it is a really good name

  17. ttyrone says:

    the thugs with the gold teefh and the baggy pants down below thier smelly azz crack will be lootin and burin their gubment housing down tonight

  18. Rascal69 says:

    Well, it’s been said that the last one to leave the city was supposed to turn off the lights…guess he left.

  19. Kathleen says:

    The power goes out in a section of Detroit and all the racist nut jobs, who probably haven’t been to Detroit in decades crawl out of the woodwork to put in their useless two cents. Let’s see, in the section without power we have the DIA, WSU, DMC, the Wright Museum, the Science Center, CCS, MOCAD, the main branch of the Detroit Public LIbrary, countless restaurants and shops, Cobo Hall, Municipal Buildings and thousands of people who live and/or work in the area. I am one of them. Does DPL (Lighting Dept.) function well? No. Does this mean there is nothing worthwhile in Detroit and that people are running around looting and killing people? Uh, no. You know, we’ve all heard the dumb jokes about Detroit, and they aren’t funny, they’re just tired. Put some clothes on, get out of your parent’s basement and contribute to society inside of sniping from behind your lap top about things you really don’t know anything about.

  20. Terry says:

    Well I would not be too concerned your fearless leader Obama says we don’t need coal or gas electric plants! If fact Obama said that a coal will be taxed out of exsistamce! So grab those church pew fans and start waving!!!

  21. Not Stupid says:

    To bad American can only bomb, murder, steal from well developed countries.

    Got infrastructure? Watch out – greedy, nasty Skankees will come and bomb you.

    Of course the present Nazi murderers of America in their flying ovens are HEROES.

  22. asc says:

    i guess all six local owners of Chevy Volts plugged them in at the same time.

  23. Carlos says:


  24. mark says:

    who cares, the whole city is trash anyway

  25. jude says:

    The important thing is the WHITE HOUSE – Capital buildings are lit and nice and COOL —as are their limos / a 73% increase in last 3 yrs. Detroit destroyed by GREED – outsourcing – other countries supply HEALTH CARE/ how can a business compete? Don’t worry –BILLIONS upon billions are being spent in Iraq and Afghanistan blowing up their infrastructure and then giving billions to thugs like Halliburton to REBUILD —Its a shame that when blacks were in charge Conyers/ Kilpatrick etc they ripped off the people same as the white folks. Color of GREED is GREEN.

  26. Nancy says:

    Dude, do you reply on every CBS story ever posted?? I saw this same batch of garbage on an article about Joplin tornado survivors having a deadly fungal infection. Methinks that someone needs to either get a life, a clue, or buy a vowel.

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