Power outage leaves residents in the dark, again

Brandon Twp. — Last Wednesday’s power outage left local residents and business owners frustrated.
At approximately 3 p.m. Nov. 19 power went out in the Brandon Township and Ortonville area, affecting 2,500 customers and shutting down area traffic lights.
“A 40,000-volt line made contact with a 13,200-volt line,” said Scott Simons, spokesperson for Detroit Edison.
Simons could not identify where the faulty lines were located, and said the blackout was unrelated to another recent blackout.
The problem is a recurring one, says Arlene Thompson, owner of Thompson Hardware at 30 South St. in Ortonville.
“I have to admit I’m very frustrated with Edison,” she said. We’ve been having these power outages for the last 13 years since we’ve been here, and they just don’t seem to pay attention.”
Although Thompson’s stays open during blackouts, it affects business. The company also experiences frequent brown-outs, she said.
Improving the electrical system infrastructure might remedy the problem, said co-owner Ed Thompson.
“I’m really thinking we almost have to go to the Michigan Public Service Commission because it’s so pathetic and it’s a Band-Aid every time,” he said.
Robert Renchik, of Raymond James Financial Services at 391 Mill St. in Ortonville, says electrical service for both his home and work address was blacked out Wednesday.
The issue has not come before the Ortonville Chamber of Commerce, said Renchik.
“Nobody’s brought it to the floor, but we certainly can look at it,” he said.
Wednesday’s blackout is still under investigation.
“We’re looking into the cause. Once we know that we’ll take measures to prevent (recurrence),” said Simons.
Utility problems can be addressed, toll-free, through the Michigan Public Service Commission at 800-292-9555.