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Posted on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 11:12 a.m.

Northwest Ann Arbor power outage affects Skyline High School

By Danielle Arndt

Update at 12:10 p.m.: School officials announced Skyline students are being sent home, as DTE Energy officials are unable to guarantee when the power will be back on.

A power outage on Ann Arbor's northwest side is affecting 300 customers, including Skyline High School, DTE Energy officials said.


Skyline High School

Scott Simons, a spokesman for DTE, said power went out shortly before 10:30 a.m. Friday. Power is expected to be restored by 1 p.m.

Ann Arbor Public Schools Communications Director Liz Margolis said class currently will continue as normal for Skyline students.

"Generators are up and running. A couple of classrooms that don't always have a lot of good, natural light have been moved. … But there are no plans right now to send students home," Margolis said.

Power outages have occurred at Skyline High School a few times this school year already, once in October and once in December. Students were sent home both times. Margolis said district officials have been working closely with DTE Energy to report these problems and to figure out what is going wrong.

Simons said he is not sure what is causing Skyline's frequent outages, adding that area of town is "not one of our problem circuits."

Margolis said students could be sent home today if it looks like the power will not be restored for a few more hours. She said school officials are assessing the situation.


This screenshot of the DTE Energy outage map shows the areas affect by power outages in Ann Arbor as of 11 a.m. Friday morning.

From DTE Energy

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at



Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 2:30 p.m.

Conspiracy theory here. So if Skyline power is out and so is Clemente. Does this mean the children had this all planned? Just to get a half day snow day? Interesting. Very interesting.


Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 2:09 p.m.

RE: sinks and toilets -- maybe we should go back to the old days where folks actually had to turn the water on and off and flush the commodes.


Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 11:45 a.m.

It amazes me that not one bathroom is on a generator, or that not come was built with overrides or regular plumbing...

Dog Guy

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 9:52 p.m.

Power outages have occurred at Skyline High School a few times this school year because that wind generator so prominent on its roof is undersized for the school's needs.

Linda Peck

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 8:48 p.m.

Isn't there something the City Council could do about the quality of the DTE service here? I am completely serious. Where can pressure be applied? Lawsuit brought by the City? Any ideas? Phone calls to DTE to complain appear to be ineffective.

West Side Mom

Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 2:34 a.m.

The neighborhoods to the north of Skyline are either in Ann Arbor Township (east side of Maple) or Scio Township (west side of Maple). Not sure if the Skyline is even in the city limits.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 7:14 p.m.

I have lived on N. Maple for my entire life - 28 years. We have had issues with POWER for the duration of my life. This year has been terrible. DTE is terrible. I have been hung up on by their employees for asking questions. Today I was told that an engineer will be contacting me because this is a recurring issue. It isn't acceptable to pay 300 dollars a month for this and not be able to get any help or answers. My 2 1/2 year old son is home sick with grandma today. They have no heat. They have no running water. We can't afford a generator like our "wealthy" neighbors who have $4000 to spare. We can't afford to just leave our pets at home and stay at a motel/hotel. I was told by DTE that we could go to the nearest warming center - which is Delonis. Yes, I want to take my 2 1/2 year old son to the homeless shelter because DTE can't get their act together. The company holds a monopoly over the state of Michigan and nobody does anything about it.


Sun, Feb 10, 2013 : 4:38 p.m.

Where we live? They buried most of cable lines. They might want to do that where you are.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 8:23 p.m.

Good gravy. I work near here and have been appalled at how often we lose power. This is nuts and to learn this has been going on for 20+ years is beyond reasonable. DTE should be held accountable.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 6:43 p.m.

All of the other districts did not have school today. The only good thing was that the power went off so we got to leave right after late lunch (12:11)


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 5:36 p.m.

AAPS needs to give the principals at Skyline the authority to let the students go home when the power goes out. This is the third time this year the students have had to wait in limbo, for a call from Balas, for more than 90 minutes with no toilets, water, heat, and classroom technology. These power outages seem to happen during lunch when the toilets and water are even more necessary. Fix the mechanical problem and give the principals the authority to send students home.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 5:32 p.m.

I expect that DTE never will guarantee that the power will be back on at x time. An estimated time is always the case. However, its Friday- let them go home(and shovel LOL like that could ever happen).

West Side Mom

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 5:52 p.m.

That's right, which is why it was foolish for the district make the statement that it did and for it to decide to try to wait it out. I may be wrong, but I wold be surprised to learn that the generators mentioned by the district provide power for anything more than emergency lighting to help people exit the building during power outages.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 5:12 p.m.

And it is infuriating that this is the 3rd time this year the same transformer has blown. And DTW claims they don't know why... And what about the kids that they forced to ride the AATA this year??? This will be the third time I will have to go out and drive in poor conditions because there will be no AATA pick up for nearly an hour.


Sun, Feb 10, 2013 : 4:37 p.m.

As for children being forced onto an AATA? This is part of the 5 year plan from BOE to end busing as we know it. Sit out in the cold and wait.

West Side Mom

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 8:35 p.m.

LDR - Thanks for the additional information. Good to know.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 7:11 p.m.

@West Side Mom - Because we have physically hunted down the DTE workers at the station next to Skyline repeatedly EVERYTIME this happens and its a fuse that is fixed within a few hours. We are TIRED of this. I put in my 100,000,000 phone call to DTE today and supposedly will be having a Engineer return my phone call to tell me why this keeps happening.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 6:38 p.m.

"Dear Skyline Families, Due to a power outage, Skyline students are being released early today. DTE reports a blown fuse at the main transformer and are unable to give us a reliable time when electricity will be restored. Students are completing the second lunch at 11:51. Walker and drivers will be released at that time. Parents are welcome to pick up students at that time. Buses will arrive at 12noon. Thank you Liz Margolis" From email sent home. This is the third time this school year that Skyline has "lost" power due to that transformer blowing.

West Side Mom

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 5:47 p.m.

Who has identified the problem as a blown transformer? DTE has only identified it as an area outage. With the snow and sleet came wind, there could be another cause.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 5:15 p.m.



Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 5:05 p.m.

The decision was just made almost two hours later to close school and dismiss students. And no, it is not sad, it is a code violation and unsanitary conditions. All of the sinks and toilets are sensor operated so do not function without electricity. Students would not be able or allowed to use the bathrooms, and power went out shortly after 10 AM.

West Side Mom

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 4:45 p.m.

Ms. Margolis' report is not completely accurate. DTE is estimating that power will be restored between 1 and 3 p.m. this afternoon. I would also note that in her statement regarding the power outage that occurred in October, she reported that power outages at Skyline impact the water and sanitary facilities at the school: "DTE was unable to provide an estimate of when the power would be restored. In these cases facilities, such as the water and toilets are impacted, so a decision was made to release students rather then continue the educational day under these circumstances," Margolis said. I recognize that this outage is different, in that DTE is able to provide an estimate of when power will be restored. But if it's closer to 3 p.m., then the 1,000+ students and staff will spend most of the day in school with water and toilets.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 4:44 p.m.

So they have to send the kids home because the automatic toilets don't work. Hahaha That is so sad.


Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 2:28 p.m.

When ever there is a power outage it becomes more of a safety issue then a toilet that does not flush. Trust you me, it gets dark in that building unlike Hron and Pioneer where if you open the classroom doors you get light.

West Side Mom

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 5:54 p.m.

This is not me.