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Posted on Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 7:20 p.m.

I-94 closed; power out on Ann Arbor's west side

By Staff

Most of Ann Arbor's west side has been without power since about 6 p.m. because of a transformer fire at the Main Power Center at Maple Road and W. Liberty Street, Ann Arbor Police Lt. Angella Abrams said.

"Many homes and businesses west of Main, from Jackson Road down to at least Pauline and the Stadium corridor are out of power," Abrams said.

While the fire department responded to the fire, which is now out, police are out to direct traffic at main intersections.

Meanwhile, I-94 at Jackson Road is closed in both directions because of a downed power line on the highway.

DTE crews are on the scene working to clear the line from the roadway



Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 11:32 p.m.

Glad for this comment thread. Hope those without power find ways to stay warm tonight.


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 10:50 p.m.

Any word on when we might get power back?


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 10:45 p.m.

Going out Huron, power went out on the west side of Revena. Coming back Liberty, power goes back on at Zion Lutheran. Power is on on the block NW of Miller/Dexter.

Andy Fowler

Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 9:36 p.m.

On Pauline, power is *on* east of 7th, and is off all the way down Pauline, up W Stadium, even up to Staples / Zingerman's Roadhouse is all pitch black. Entrance to 94 East is still closed at Jackson, though traffic seemed to be slowly crawling on the interstate.


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 9:35 p.m.

I'm at the corner of Miller and Newport and our power is out. Looks like half the neighborhood is ok and half is out.


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 9:32 p.m.

We live off of AA dexter rd just a mile west of Maple. We have a direct view of 94 and as of 20 minutes ago traffic has finally moved and is cleared. We do have power but about half a mile up the rd towards maple there isn't any for miles in all directions except west.


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 9:27 p.m.

I'm at Jackson and Wagner and we have power.


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 9:25 p.m.

I called my tenants who live just west of Maple off Dex-AA Rd. They have power. Does anybody know the boundaries of the outage?

Richard C

Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 9:25 p.m.

So the area around Maple & Liberty is out, as is Dicken elementary school. How far east? north? south? I know that there was power around Newport & Miller at around 6:00pm.

Jamie Neylon

Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 9:14 p.m.

WOW!! I just got home after being stuck on I-94 West right at the Scio Church Bridge for well over two hours. There was no police assistance to reroute stranded motorist. When the cars started turning around I figured they were being directed to do so and I followed. What a surprise when arriving to Ann Arbor Saline Road and not one Police car to be seen. Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, State of Michigan.....Wake UP!!!! Stop wasting our tax money on LED street lights, major road constructions that lead to no where (Jackson Rd)etc. etc. etc. STOP laying off our Police force, Fire Department, Teachers, And all the other people that are important to society!!! Budgets and careful spending goes alot further than tax increases!!!


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 8:56 p.m.

This is really tragic, as it is so cold out. I hope people will help the elderly stuck in their houses without power. If you know anyone, please help!!! Maybe they need the National Guard to help them, going door to door or something like that. I would go but I don't live in the affected area.


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 8:55 p.m.

Somebody mentioned that DTE estimated power will be back on Thursday at 11 PM! Is this a certain estimate? I have no heat and my apartment insulation is terrible! Guess I'll just live in the building that I work at? Least my boss will be happy...


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 8:54 p.m.

Let the City Council and the Mayor remember this mess when they're getting rid of ESSENTIAL services such as police and fire. they'll be the first to call them in. They really need to redo the entire budget and keep these people going, as well as education. We do NOT need a new building, more parking garages, art or roundabouts. We need basic services. These are tough economic times and everything has to be changed. This includes getting the University to pay taxes or state grants or whatever to not suck off the rest of us for our services. This is really tragic, as it is so cold out. I hope people will help the elderly stuck in their houses without power. If you know anyone, please help!!! Maybe they need the National Guard to help them, going door to door or something like that.

Guinea Pig in a Tophat

Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 8:39 p.m.

cath808 - Thank you mentioning that! I feel better knowing that he's going somewhere, as slow as it may be. Hopefully everyone will be safe.

Vanessa Clarke

Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 8:36 p.m.

The lack of traffic direction was ridiculous. We were stuck in this for two hours too and missed my daughter's end-of-year concert. After two hours west bound traffic started heading back east on BOTH hard shoulders and there didn't seem to be any police direction to this. Why could they not have directed traffic back on one hard shoulder hours earlier, and kept the other one open for emergency vehicles?


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 8:29 p.m.

I just walked over the I-94 Bridge at the intersection of Scio Church and Maple Road to see cars turned off sitting in the westbound lanes. People were turning around and driving eastbound on the shoulder and exiting backwards off the Ann Arbor Saline Rd. On ramp. Firetrucks were unable at the time to get past these cars. It was mayhem out there tonight. the traffic on Scio Church road before the bridge was at least 4 times larger when I tuned around. there will mopst lickley be people getting to there homes VERY late tonight. Our house backs up to Dicken Elementary School. i looked out of my house and yes i am truthful to say i say a bright light illuminate the sky at abut 5:50PM. I do believe that this was the power station exploding and catching on fire. maybe it was lighting but our house is just over a mile away so its possible. I am not possitive but i dont think schools can be in seccion if there is not power. As I type this Dicken Elementary school is still with ought power but my fellow resident have power. And if the station that gives the school its power was absolutely destroyed tonight school is questionable for Dicken and possible the AAPS district. just giving my inside story. Brendan Kennedy- Pioneer High School.


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 8:26 p.m.

My husband has been stuck in that for 2 hours as well, he texted me about 15 minutes ago and said they were having everyone DRIVE BACKWARDS towards Ann Arbor-Saline Rd exit. Wonder how many accidents will come out of that??


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 8:25 p.m.

soooo...if I have power right now am I'm ok??? Hopefully no more outages??


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 8:19 p.m.

We were driving by the substation on Maple and Liberty when it blew. Now that I'm home and uninjured, I have to say it was a pretty awesome sight. There was also a line down along Liberty that erupted as we were turning around due to the downed line. Sorry to all those that are out of power.


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 8:12 p.m.

I just tried to get to my house on at Pauline and Maple. The whole area is pitch black. All street lights and traffic lights are out, which is horrendous because interstate traffic is being routed down Stadium. Maple at Liberty is also still blocked off because of the fire. This is going to be a huge mess. Good luck to the first responders and DTE workers!

Guinea Pig in a Tophat

Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 8:05 p.m.

Any updates on when I-94 will reopen? My hubby has been stuck on I-94 going on two hours now.

Thick Candy Shell

Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 8:04 p.m.

If it takes a couple days, some people are in real trouble. It is going to be around 10 F for the next two days. I don't care how well insulated a house is, with this wind and those temps that is a problem. If it gets that cold, remember to open a few faucets to keep water flowing and not let it freeze in the pipes

Paul M Bombach

Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 7:45 p.m.

DTE's estimate is that power will be restored Thursday at 11:00 pm. Paul Bombach


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 7:31 p.m.

Yea, we don't need all those fireman....


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 7:11 p.m.

Any word on when we might get power back?


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 6:49 p.m.

There's a main power center @ Maple and Liberty. I bet that's the one that's out. I have friends in the area and they said that traffic is horrible and all of the business and homes are dark in the area.


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 6:45 p.m.

Outage map at

Eric P

Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 6:36 p.m.

The story stated that "most of Ann Arbor's west side is without power due to a transformer fire at the Main Power Center at Jackson Road and Liberty" Jackson and Liberty do not intersect. Also any chance we can get a map showing the effected area?