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Power Goes Out in Downtown Detroit

June 13, 2000

DETROIT (AP) _ A power outage blacked out part of downtown Detroit Tuesday afternoon, trapping people in elevators and on elevated trains.

Mayor Dennis Archer said a cable burned out in one of the city’s power stations, causing the outage at 12:45 p.m. The city’s power should be back by 3 a.m. Wednesday, the mayor said at a late afternoon news conference.

It wasn’t known how many Detroit Power and Lighting customers were affected.

Fire officials rescued those caught on the People Mover elevated rail system by opening emergency doors.

``At this point we don’t believe anyone’s in danger,″ said Michelle Zdrodowski, a spokeswoman for Archer.

The police department was operating on backup generators, and the 911 emergency system was not affected.

All police runs were being dispatched from the precincts, though they normally would come out of headquarters.

``We’re not taking any chances, we’re dispatching manually,″ said deputy Police Chief Paula Bridges.

Detroit’s airport was operating with emergency transmitters.

Several dozen public schools were without power and parents were asked to pick up their children.

Police asked motorists to treat traffic lights affected by the outage as four-way stops to avoid accidents. Police officers were directing traffic at intersections on one of the city’s main roads, Jefferson Avenue.

Lester Cormier and Fred Huitt were standing in front of the Coleman Young City County Building waiting to hear if they were going to work their night shift.

Cormier, who works in a client service center for the city’s Information Technology Services Department, said his boss told him to wait and see what happens. He was to start his shift at 4 p.m.

``We figure we’ll be needed if eventually it does come on,″ Cormier said, who helps solve problems with the city’s telephones and computer systems.

``A lot of people are going to need our advice when their computers start booting.″

``The faster we can get on it the faster we can fix it,″ Huitt said.

The Wayne County Jail was in a lock down and operating on generators, though the jail did not have any security problems, spokeswoman Nancy Mouradian said.

The Detroit Tigers game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park will go as scheduled at 7:05 p.m., Tigers spokesman Tyler Barnes said.

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