Downtown Detroit is in the dark after its power grid went down around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. All city fire stations, some schools and the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice courthouse are among the roughly 100 buildings without power, the Detroit Free Press reported. The cause of the outage was determined to be a cable failure, but it's unclear when it will be fixed.
Private office and residential buildings are largely unaffected by the power malfunction, USA Today reported. Places without power include the Joe Louis Arena, the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, the City-County Building, the Detroit Institute of Arts and Wayne State University. Even though some still had power, all Detroit public schools decided to send students home after a half-day. Night and after-school programs were canceled.
Across the city, people were stuck on elevators, Business Insider reported. Patrolling police officers told dispatchers they were concerned about running out of gas, as the pumps were down. Fire trucks could be trapped inside stations, but some Detroit Fire Department stations had generator power.
“It’s a pretty wild scene,” WWJ reporter Vickie Thomas said on air. “We heard sirens and two fire rigs pulled up here to the City-County Building, and I asked the firefighters -- they jumped out with all sorts of tools and whatnot -- if they were trying to rescue people from the elevators; and that’s exactly what they are doing.”
The courthouse is closed for the rest of the day. People had to evacuate via stairwells earlier, including those who were there for a high-profile murder trial. Tuesday's outage was actually the second Bob Bashara has experienced while being tried on charges of asking his handyman to kill his wife, WJBK-TV, Detroit, reported. In September 2013, the lights went out while his ex-girlfriend was testifying.
“This is an 11-story building, so there were people up on the upper floors," a WWJ reporter said. "I also heard through one of the deputy’s intercom systems that there were people on the upper floors that were in wheelchairs and had canes and walkers -- so you can imagine this evacuation took quite a while.”
See Twitter photos below of Detroit as it deals with the outage:
City Hall scene ... pic.twitter.com/1yjbYf5sVY
— ChristineFerretti_DN (@cferretti_dn) December 2, 2014
— theScore (@theScore) December 2, 2014
â€” Hockey Central (@SNHockeyCentral) December 2, 2014
— WZZM 13 On Your Side (@wzzm13) December 2, 2014
— The Detroit News (@detroitnews) December 2, 2014
People reportedly backed up in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice stairwell after power outage hits downtown Detroit. pic.twitter.com/glH2uJrMP6
— Breaking News (@NewsOnTheMin) December 2, 2014
— Jamal Bransford (@VideoManJamal) December 2, 2014
â€” kristin shaw (@k5haw) December 2, 2014