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Massive Power Outage Causes Blackout In Downtown Detroit

Traffic signals blacked out, elevators became stuck, and buildings were evacuated after a "major cable failure" shut down the Motor City's power grid.

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Much of downtown Detroit has been plunged into darkness, after a massive failure with the city's power grid led to widespread blackouts.

The "major cable failure" shut down the entire public lighting grid around 10:30 a.m. local time, according to a city statement, affecting power at about 100 mostly public buildings.

"We have isolated the issue and are working to restore power as soon as possible," the statement said.

The Frank Murphy Hall of Justice courthouse, as well as the city's famed Institute of Arts, were among buildings where occupants were evacuated.

This is what evacuating 900 student visitors looks like! #DetroitPowerOutage

Detroit Inst of Arts@DIADetroitFollow

This is what evacuating 900 student visitors looks like! #DetroitPowerOutage

11:30 AM - 02 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Evacuations happening throughout downtown due to a massive power outage #Detroit #Local4

Jamal Bransford@VideoManJamalFollow

Evacuations happening throughout downtown due to a massive power outage #Detroit #Local4

11:10 AM - 02 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Also affected was the Joe Louis Arena, where the Red Wings play:

Another power outage this morning at Joe Louis Arena. Maybe they didn't pay their bill.

Bob Duff@askthedufferFollow

Another power outage this morning at Joe Louis Arena. Maybe they didn't pay their bill.

10:38 AM - 02 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Huge power outages in Detroit right now, including fire stations, courthouses, Joe Louis Arena http://t.co/fzpxjrVCRR

Austin Hunt@AustinHuntFollow

Huge power outages in Detroit right now, including fire stations, courthouses, Joe Louis Arena http://t.co/fzpxjrVCRR

11:24 AM - 02 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

A spokesman for the city's fire department said crews have been rescuing a number of people from elevators.

At least one woman now leaving on a stretcher.

Power has now reportedly been restored to the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, but officials are said to have shut the building for the remainder of the day.

Power has been restored to the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice. The building is still closed for the day. LIVE COVERAGE: http://t.co/SGAQDWNYHj

WXYZ Detroit@wxyzdetroitFollow

Power has been restored to the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice. The building is still closed for the day. LIVE COVERAGE: http://t.co/SGAQDWNYHj

12:27 PM - 02 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Schools are also letting out early as a result of the power outage:

Massive power outage in #detroit. Schools dismissing early @wxyzdetroit

Jim Kiertzner @kiertzner7Follow

Massive power outage in #detroit. Schools dismissing early @wxyzdetroit

11:32 AM - 02 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Wayne State University has canceled all classes on its main campus:

Classes are canceled on main campus due to power outage, includes evening classes, events. Extension Centers, online classes not affected.

Wayne State Univ@waynestateFollow

Classes are canceled on main campus due to power outage, includes evening classes, events. Extension Centers, online classes not affected.

12:41 PM - 02 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

"Power is starting to come back up, and we are going to stay with it until it's done," Duggan said.

Jerry Norcia, president of energy provider DTE, said he expects 70% of the affected buildings will have power restored in the next two hours, with the remaining buildings back online by tonight. He noted that power began being restored to some buildings within 90 minutes of the grid failure.

Duggan said there had not been a spike in police or fire incidents during the outage.

Duggan thanked firefighters for carrying people down stairwells, as well as the 100 state and local police who have been working to direct traffic.

Duggan also warned Detroit residents to expect further blackouts in the future, as the city completes a four-year process of handing over control of the Public Lighting Department to DTE Energy.

Today is a good reminder of how much work we still have to do says Mayor Duggan. #DetroitPowerOutage

Mayor Mike Duggan@MayorMikeDugganFollow

Today is a good reminder of how much work we still have to do says Mayor Duggan. #DetroitPowerOutage

2:12 PM - 02 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Transition of Public Lighting Dept. to @DTE_Energy is a four year process, in early phases of it says Mayor Duggan. #DetroitPowerOutage

Mayor Mike Duggan@MayorMikeDugganFollow

Transition of Public Lighting Dept. to @DTE_Energy is a four year process, in early phases of it says Mayor Duggan. #DetroitPowerOutage

2:13 PM - 02 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.

Contact David Mack at david.mack@buzzfeed.com.

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