Update 7:25 pm
100% of Detroit's public lighting grid was up and running as of Tuesday evening, city officials said, while noting Public Lighting Department crews were still dealing with a handful of "localized issues."
All PLD customers lost power this morning, after a "major cable failure" at the Mistursky power station. When crews tried to reconnect part of the system through another circuit, a breaker failed, triggering a system-wide shutdown around 10:30 am.
The PLD grid is being phased out over four years, and is currently serviced by DTE Energy. DTE is in the process of building a replacement grid, but is still using the old infrastructure to serve most PLD customers in the meantime. Those customers include some of the city's largest institutions--such as the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, a number of courts, many Detroit Public Schools, and the Detroit Institute of Arts.
At an afternoon press conference, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the outage is "another reminder of how much work we have to do to rebuild this city."
“A bankruptcy order doesn’t solve the decades of neglect in our infrastructure, and that’s what we saw," said Duggan.
“Every month that goes by, we will be more and more on a more modern system, and the likelihood of this happening will go down. But it’s part of rebuilding the city.”
DTE Electric President Jerry Norcia said the company is in the process of inspecting the current system and making needed upgrades, but had been focusing on known weak points.
"This was a station that had not failed before," said Norcia, who said the exact cause of the cable failure isn't known yet.
The city's police and fire stations also lost power, but the 911 dispatch system and other communications were up and running throughout. That was fortunate, as some trauma patients had to be re-routed from Detroit's Receiving Hospital, and firefighters rescued people stranded on the top floors of a few downtown buildings.
Fire Commissioner Edsel Jenkins said emergency personnel kept things operating with only a few minor adjustments. “They received instructions to move their vehicles outside the quarters, so we were able to respond to every call for help around this city," he said.
The Detroit Public Schools and Wayne State University canceled afternoon classes due to the outage.
Update 12:19 p.m.
Here's a statement from the Detroit Public Lighting Department:
The city’s public lighting grid suffered a major cable failure that has caused the entire grid to lose power at approximately 10:30 this morning. The outage is affecting all customers on the PLD grid. We have isolated the issue and are working to restore power as soon as possible.
The city’s Public Lighting Department is working closely with DTE during this process. Mayor Mike Duggan and representatives of DTE will provide further details a 2PM press briefing at Detroit Public Safety Headquarters.
A power outage affecting parts of Detroit closed several government buildings, including some courthouses, and left intersections without working traffic lights.
The outage happened about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.