Power still out in parts of downtown Detroit

Power outage hits downtown Detroit buildings, Wayne State campus

DETROIT - Extreme heat and a cable failure are being blamed for a major outage in downtown Detroit.

Power went out just after 1 p.m. to several buildings, including the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice and the Wayne County building. They were all evacuated.

Fire Chief Gene Biondo was put in charge of the evacuation and rescue effort downtown.

"We were told a PLD power line overheated and in order to not cause major damage, they had to emergency shutdown, which they did," the chief said.

The municipal center stretches 20 floors in the air. With no working elevators most took the stairs to get out.

But some including a woman who is 8 months pregnant could not make it down multiple flights of stairs to the ground floor.

"We put personnel on every floor. We did a check of every floor and made sure they stayed with those people until we can get power and if we couldn't get power we had gurneys ready that we are going to carry them down individually one at a time," said Biondo.

The Public Lighting Department worked to restore power in the municipal building in order for emergency workers to put those who couldn't take the stairs in elevators.

"Everybody is out. Everybody is good. The pregnant woman was the calmest out of everybody and everybody was happy to be out," said Biondo.

Additionally, the People Mover was shut down. The Detroit Institute of Arts reports they also lost power. The DIA outage came after the museum closed their doors for the day.

Wayne State University said it had 48 buildings without power on its campus and there were some people stuck in elevators or parking garages. The campus has been closed and classes have been canceled for the remainder of Wednesday.

Story: WSU campus closed, classes canceled due to power outage

There were also issues with video arraignments at 36th District Court.

The cable issue originated with the city's Public Lighting Department. DTE Energy is helping with the situation.

The exact location of the cable that is causing the issue wasn't immediately released.

A spokesman for Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr says two of five power lines went down Wednesday afternoon, forcing the Public Lighting Department to shut down the rest.

Power was expected to be restored sometime during the afternoon, but people were being asked to only turn on lights and other essential electronics for the rest of the day.

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