Many students’ plans were ruined last night when they
suddenly lost electricity from around 6 p.m. until about 9:10 p.m.
A power line failure knocked out electricity on the northeastern
side of central campus, Detroit Edison Energy spokesman John
Austerberry said.

Austerberry said there wasn’t an “obvious
cause” for the power outage. “There was no cause such
as a car accident or something … but power lines can be
damaged,” Austerberry said. He added that possible causes of
damage could include a power line getting damaged in a storm and
then becoming ruined over time, such as through water continually
getting into the power line.

Although Austerberry said the power outage primarily affected
University buildings, students living in rental properties off
campus seemed to be most affected.

Business School student David Bickel said at first he thought
that only his house lost power, but when he went to check the fuse
box, he couldn’t find anything wrong.

“I went outside and realized it was the whole
neighborhood,” Bickel said.

When interviewed while waiting for the power to come back,
Bickel said he would have to leave his house because of the power
outage.

“I can’t even be here much longer because it’s
going to be completely dark, and I can’t see anything,”
Bickel added.

Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Diane Brown said
although there was a “power bump,” the University was
able to restart power in almost all buildings. The 300 North
Ingalls Building and the William Monroe Trotter House were two of
the only buildings that did not respond immediately.

The University was able to quickly regenerate power because the
Medical and Central campuses are connected to three feeds from DTE
Energy and the University’s power plant.

“It allows us to have redundancy so if one goes down we
have the other feeds,” Brown said.

Many traffic lights were also not working in the area because of
the power outage. The Ann Arbor Police Department said it tried to
prevent traffic accidents by sending officers out to the major
intersections to either direct traffic or put up stop signs.

The Ann Arbor Fire Department said the power outage also caused
some fire alarms to go off, and several fire trucks were sent to
check on these residences.

The power outage did not cause any serious damage or injury, but
many students without electricity were inconvenienced.

“I was trying to watch the (football) game, and then the
room went dark and the TV went off,” Bickel said.

Bickel said he was particularly upset about the power outage
because he had planned to watch the World Series game.

“The house is dark, I don’t have a flashlight, I
don’t even know where I’m going to watch the game
at,” he added.

Other students were distressed because they had trouble
finishing their homework last night.

“I’m trying to do my homework, but the
Internet’s out and the computer’s not working. So
basically everything I planned on doing tonight revolved around the
computer,” Engineering senior Maggie Hayes said.

She added, “I can’t cook dinner, and I don’t
know where to order from because I don’t know who has power
and who doesn’t.”

 

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