Governor's Statement to the People of Michigan

Small MI

Aug. 15, 2003

The following is the text of Governor Jennifer M. Granholm’s statement to Michigan residents regarding the power outage, which was broadcast via satellite on Thursday evening:

Let me begin by reiterating what you all heard the President of the United States say just an hour ago.  The electrical outage that we are experiencing here in Michigan is not the result of a terrorist attack, but appears to be the result of some other natural occurrence – that caused an outage at a power plant in New York State earlier this afternoon.  That outage in New York rippled across the Eastern United States and Canada, actually stopping here in Michigan.

At this hour, utility crews are working to restore power in the affected areas.  As you know by now, the outage affects mostly residents in the middle and southeast parts of the state.  Detroit Edison serves 2.1 million customers in these areas, all of which are still out of power as I speak.  In addition, 100,000 Consumers Energy customers are without power. 

Detroit Edison is saying that they are beginning to power-up their plants and they will continually be bringing customers back online.  The utility cannot confirm exactly when all power will be fully restored, but they are hopeful that most customers will be back online before the end of the weekend.  This will be a gradual restoration, but I am pleased to report that thanks to the swift response of utility crews and the power conservation of our citizens, reports are beginning to trickle-in that power is slowly coming back on in some locations.

Oakland, Macomb and Wayne Counties have declared LOCAL states of emergency. At 8:30 p.m. we fully activated the state’s Emergency Management Operations Center, which allows us to have a central point of communication between the all state, local and federal agencies.

Some people may have questions about steps they can take to remain safe and protect their families.  We urge citizens, first and foremost, to remain calm.  Also, for your safety, try to stay off the roads.  If you must drive, treat all intersections as four-way stops.

Beyond these important first steps, we encourage citizens to take the same basic precautions that you would in any other power outage situation.

Unplug your appliances and major electronics – like computers, for instance.  When power comes back on there may a surge which could damage these products. 

Importantly, while we encourage people to stay hydrated to stay cool, citizens should take steps to conserve water.  Water is pumped to your faucet through pumps which, of course, use electricity.

As the evening and tomorrow progresses, we expect more communities to come back on-line.  I want to thank all of the utility workers and emergency personnel who have been working so hard to restore power.

Finally, this is truly one of the instances where we are all in this together.  So please be calm, be supportive of your neighbor, and take those extra precautions.  Thank you.