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Posted on Sat, Jul 7, 2012 : 9:16 p.m.

Power outage hits edge of University of Michigan campus

By Staff


Dark streets and storefronts were illuminated by headlights during a power outage Saturday night at the corner of Church and South University Streets.

Jeffrey Smith |

This story has been updated: Underground cable source of central Ann Arbor power outage; 2,000 remain powerless in Washtenaw County

A power outage struck the edge of the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor at about 9 p.m. Saturday.

The outage affected nearly 3,000 DTE customers near the southern edge of central campus, impacting homes and businesses between South State and South Forest from South University to Packard.

By 10 p.m., the number of customers affected by the outage grew to 6,430 in the 48104 ZIP code, with an additional 2,199 customers affected in the 48103 ZIP code.

The outages were listed on DTE Energy's outage map at about 9:40 p.m.

DTE spent much of Saturday restoring power to the 3,000 customers still without it after storms affected more than 15,000 customers in Washtenaw County earlier in the week. They estimated that all of those remaining customers would have power by Saturday night.

DTE Energy officials were not immediately available Saturday night to provide information on the extent of the new outage or its estimated duration.

The campus-area outage includes bars and restaurants on South U and near Packard and Hill, though traffics signals are functioning.

Employees at one business in that area said DTE gave them an estimate of 9:30 p.m. Sunday for the repair.

Joshua Sanchez, manager of the Little Brown Jug, said he expects to serve customers for cash only for a short time, then close by about 11 p.m.

Other businesses also are winding down operations.

"We're just trying to survive for tonight," Sanchez said, "then we'll worry about tomorrow."

Champions Party Store on South U was the only store open at 9:30 p.m., due to a generator providing full power to the business.



Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 12:43 p.m.

Wonder why infrastructure is neglected in the US? A 'energy holding company'? Why is one needed you ask? Because this is about making a lot of money...not supplying electricity. News: After just five hours on the job, Duke Energy CEO Bill Johnson was surprisingly removed from his chief executive post and given a stunning $44.4 million severance package. The bizarre turn of events illustrates the massive salary chasm between CEOs and worker bees in the economically sluggish United States. Duke Energy and Progress Energy began a merger. Duke Energy, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the largest electric power holding company in the United States. So Johnson walked into the job, probably had long enough to find the coffee machine, and was gone by lunch. For his troubles, he'll receive $7.4 million severance, a $1.4 million bonus, a hefty stock deal, and a $1.5 million lump-sum payout -- for a grand total of $44.4 million.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 11:59 a.m.

At every opportunity Republicans have fought President Obama's attempts to improve the electrical grid and public infrastructure that would not only create PRIVATE sector jobs but might even help prevent these kind of occurrences. Thank you Republicans and your Tea Party overlords. May we all live in darkness.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 1:04 p.m.

Vote down all you want. Everyone knows it's true.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 12:34 p.m.

I gave myself a "thumbs down" for failure to use "Party of No". Sigh...


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.

I gave you a "thumbs down" for failure to mention "Koch Brothers" "Shrub" "Mittens" and the term "Rethuglicans".


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 5:23 a.m.

Interesting. Abnormally warm, wet winter, with an inadequate amount of by Spring we did not have a great enough snow pack. The hottest summer on record....and I have not heard one comment saying global warming/climate change is a hoax. It's warming up, folks. There will be ups and downs...but over-all the yearly temps are getting higher.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

Global warming is a hoax. Weather is cyclical.

mike gatti

Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

No a mild winter or a hot stretch don't predict much but really smart people called scientists do and almost all of them have predicted it and what they predicted seems to be happening. The issue isn't one of opinion for us lay people. It is not do you like chicken better than fish. It is something we should believe the experts on.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 7:59 a.m.

If you believe that "over-all" people are getting more gullible. Summers can get hot, its summer. A heat wave doesn't prove global warming is true neither does a mild winter.

mike gatti

Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 4:55 a.m.

Sure DTE has made statement after useless statement. DTE has a greater responsibility than we can ever imagine. Who will provide electricity? you AFterDark? you djacks 24? They use words like storm and repair as a dodge of responsibility and you use them as nouns and verbs but as grotesque as its existence is to you, Deep down in places you don't talk about at parties you want their silly statements you need their silly statements. DTE has neither the time or inclination to inform you of anything when you eat and sleep under the very electrcity it sometimes provides. It would rather you said thank you. Either that or pick up a pen and issue a press release. Until then they don't give a darn what you think you are entitled to.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 11:43 a.m.

" Entitled to " ..I don't remember anything in the Bill of Rights about electricity ..Nanny state entitlement of a free market product ...I sure as hell hope not...


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 5:05 a.m.

Did you order the code brownout?


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 5:01 a.m.

You never know, Mr. Gatti. One of my dream visions has long been getting houses off the main grid. Either have each house self-contained or have local minigrids powered by renewables serving smaller areas. I'm also a fan of composting toilets (no more clogs!).

the leprachaun

Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 4:24 a.m.

Just as I was reading this my power went out for the fifth time in 3 days in Saline city.limits. Its realy confusing me why are these outages happening now 3 days after a not to bad storm.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 1:06 p.m.

Because DTW and other energy providers have little incentive to improve the grid and it infrastructure. They make plenty of profits with the status quo. Why change now?


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 12:06 p.m.

Not "EVERYONE" has their Ac turned way too hight. Unless you consider 80 degrees too high.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 5:18 a.m.

EVERYONE has their AC turned up way too high. It stretches the grid.

I love Ann Arbor

Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 4:14 a.m.

If summers continue to grow hotter and these 98-105 degree days become the norm, or last a month or more, we will probably see more of these issues. One scenario: it will cost $1100.00 per month to maintain our lifestyle (run A/C) in a 1500 square foot home. Brown outs and rolling power outages will be scheduled like garbage/recycle pick up days, maintaining gardens and lawns will be managed differently. I guess I'm feeling insecure this week about our energy and I am not enjoying this super heated weather. I find it unsettling.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 7:38 a.m.

Yes! California is a model for efficiency, good state management and a steward of prosperity.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 4:34 a.m.

PS: The temps aren't that much to worry about (yet). Take a look at the historic records for Ann Arbor and note that most of the records set are not recent -


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 4:30 a.m.

In this region energy efficiency is typically emphasized more during the heating degree days of winter but there are a lot of steps residents can take to make their homes more energy efficient in the summer. Easy steps that don't impact lifestyle: Convert to LED bulbs - they're awesome! They draw substantially less power, generate less heat (reducing cooling needs), and last longer that incandescents or florescents. Install motion detection switches that automatically shut off lights when motion is not detected in the room after a short period. Install UV-blocking film on your windows to cut down on heating. Years ago (in the days of desktops) it was noted that if everyone in California just turned off their computers when not using them enough power would be saved to eliminate the need for one full scale power plant. Little changes can mean a lot.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 3:57 a.m.

betcha power is back on by morning because something bigger is getting fixed betcha you whiners fix electrical without pulling the fuses or switching off the circuit breakers first...or more likely you don't know how and just call someone else to do it


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 10:04 a.m.

Well, well, guess where the power was back on by the time I checked at 5:45 this morning...


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 7:35 a.m.



Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 4:07 a.m.

Betcha grammar and punctuation is something is pretty low on your priority list.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 3:33 a.m.

Poor DTE, everyone makes them the enemy, but they are working their butts off to fix the outages as soon as they can. They're the heroes here! We've been in a hotel for 5 days due to daughter with asthma and no AC at home. Can't wait until this heat wave/power issue is over with...for now anyways.

P. J. Murphy

Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 3:04 a.m.

Welcome to the world of decaying infrastructure. Any moderately severe summer thunderstorm may result in you being without power for several days. Repairs may trigger additional outages. Please understand your utility is doing everything we can to address your problem except actually making any real investment in maintenance and prevention. Your state public service commission agrees with us that shareholder profits trump our commitment to providing you with service. Government investment in system upgrades or long range improvement is prohibited due to the necessity of maintaining tax breaks for "job creators". We hope you understand why your inconvenience is necessary. Please rest assured that your passive acceptance of this situation is deeply appreciated, and that our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult period.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 3:03 p.m.

P.J and Goober WELL SAID!


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 7:34 a.m.

We need the money for welfare programs and Solyndra. A123 too. A power grid won't be needed as we evolve as a society to mini-CTN's all over the place. Vote the same this coming November and watch how much further we sink in personal wealth and debt. DTE will end up with surplus power as camp fires will be our heat and light.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 3:43 a.m.

I agree. I'm sure the new Costco has electricity (not by generator). How many jobs did they they "create"?


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 3:32 a.m.

Signed, Grover Norquist


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 2:57 a.m.

Sooo...more tree branches are falling? That was DTE's excuse on Thursday afternoon when the powah went out under clear blue skies.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 5:13 a.m.

Where were you when the huge thunderstorm hit...lasting only 20 minutes...but took down a lot of trees!


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 2:55 a.m.

Live in Georgetown area off Eisenhower..power came back on around 10:30..Thank you DTE


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 2:48 a.m.

My street lost power tonight ~ 8:50 PM, and DTE said it will be restored between 9:30 and 11:30 PM on SUNDAY night...We lost power for over 7 hours on Thursday, and it has been working fine since then. What is going on, because DTE couldn't explain it to me tonight. I've "farmed" out the kids, and checked into a local hotel; A2 blackout residents were filling up the lobby. The Sheraton on Boardwalk lost power, so people are checking out of there now, and scrambling for a hotel with power and A/C. Enough whining for me now; time for some wine.

Fat Bill

Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 2:27 a.m.

I bet I know what my Great Grandfather would have said about the whining over lost power. What a bunch of pampered lightweights we've collectively become...


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 2:25 a.m.

I'm going to guess that this article, combined with several days of heavy air conditioner use, explains things: Let's not slow down DTE's building of this new substation, please?

Jake C

Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 1:32 p.m.

oh yeah julie? We don't even have an AC we just have a spray bottle and a servant who fans us all day.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 11:21 a.m.

If people really turned their AC to 60 there would be no worries of a power overload because the coil would freeze.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 5:11 a.m.

We really don't need our AC turned down to 60. 80 works just fine for us.

Michelle Pierson

Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 2:19 a.m.

we are on Eisenhower up closer to A2Saline Rd, and we still have power, feeling thankful!


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

I still have power but the cable went down at 9:15 pm. Enuf already-fix the infrastructure so we don't have to be going thru this all summer!

Jake C

Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 1:33 p.m.

Oh yeah julie? We don't even have internet... just a series of postcards that we mail to so they can post them in the comments section. We also don't even use books, we read papyrus scrolls.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 5:10 a.m.

Sit on the porch with candles and read a good book. Find value and basic entertainment as we all used to do before cable. We don't even have cable...just internet.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 1:46 a.m.

When all of this is over, I think a few hard questions need to be asked - and answered. We have seen a lot of power outages lately, mostly due to storms, but also without apparent reason. Like this one. The storm was days ago, and now people are losing power. This kind of unreliability doesn't have to be. I read (in the Washington Post, I believe) that Germany has a reliability of the power grid that translates to an average outage of 21 minutes per year. We are well above that. Why? I don't think is geography, the population density in Germany is comparable to that of SE Michigan, and the weather isn't all that different, either. So is it DTE putting short-term profits over long-term investments into the power grid (burrying power lines, smart-grid technology with built-in redundancy to route power around downed transmission lines and blown-out transformers)? Or how much have NIMBYs to do with this by preventing new substations from being built, or screaming every time DTE tries to trim trees under power lines at the edge of their property? I think it's time for a serious look at why our infrastructure is crumbling so badly, and what structural changes and investments in technology we need.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 5:07 a.m.

Many times power outages occurs due to everyone using air conditioning at high levels every day for weeks. This REALLY stresses the grid.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 3:43 a.m.

I guess nobody remembers the Northeast blackout of 2003? There is nothing new about this. It's obvious no progress has been made even though we've had nearly a decade since that blackout. DTE will just keep taking our money while putting duct tape on the current outdated power grid while not at all taking the future into consideration. And we will all blindly follow along and not think anything of it until the next time we lose power. Sadly we can't just blame DTE or the government. How high on the list is the power grid with voters for the upcoming presidential election. Did it even make the list?


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 2:23 a.m.

Instead of spending money trimming trees and FIXING downed lies and other above-ground line issues....MAYBE they should spend that money on transitioning to BURIED lines? No really....take the cost of burying the lines....and subtract what is getting spent on above-ground line maintenance and repair....and that's your ACTUAL cost of upgrading. Me thinks it wouldn't be prohibitively expensive.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 1:42 a.m.

Obama has ignored our infrastructure needs. He's been needlessly fixing roads instead of our ancient power grid.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 1:10 p.m.

You mean not a priority for obstructionist Republicans.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 7:26 a.m.

This could have easily been part of Obama's original stimulus package voted on by both political parties. But, evidentially, not a priority for Obama.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 3 a.m.

This is what happens when we cut taxes without regard to how it affects our infrastructure ... and guess which party is always trying to cut taxes? Sorry, you can't blame this on Obama, no matter how much you might want to.

the leprachaun

Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 2:39 a.m.

It is sad to say but everything needs fixing. Thing like this happen because we have fallen to far behind in maintenance.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 2:27 a.m.

He's been trying to fix infrastructure but has had NO cooperation from the Party of NO for TWO YEARS. Nice try.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 1:40 a.m.

According to DTE...there are now 10000 people with outages and it is most of Southern Ann Arbor stretching from Maple/Scio Church all the way across to Packard/ Eisenhower