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Power outage outrage

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  • Power outage outrage

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    Friday, September 13 2013 7:46 AM EDT2013-09-13 11:46:31 GMT
    When FOX 2 asked Gary Brown if he gave warning of a planned power shut down Brown says "we didn't get into details like that."
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DETROIT (WJBK) -

"We had to just leave, we left things here because it was just like get up and go as quick as you can," says Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Sharon Grier.

Police are still directing traffic because the traffic lights are out and many downtown buildings are closed due to a power outage on Wednesday, but according to Gary Brown this outage was planned.

BROWN: We did start calling our customers prior to taking them down and asking them to turn off air conditioners, but they weren't responding as fast as we would like them to so we had to send them a strong message by turning the power off.

What led to that decision?

Initially, one of Detroit's cable lines was brought down for maintenance. A second line crashed just as the city began noticing amp use was high, and that's when Brown began contacting people telling them to limit their power use.

Then, a third line crashed. This is when Brown ordered the power to be shut down at various buildings downtown.

Brown says those calls he made gave specific institutions to turn off the AC and only use lights. Brown says when those people didn't listen, the power was shut off. He says it is a necessary step to prevent losing power to places like police precincts hospitals or schools.

The outage was blamed on cable failures, high temps and maintenance, but Brown says calls were made Wednesday, to specific institutions, to turn off the AC and only use lights. Brown says when those people didn't listen, the power was shut off. He says it is a necessary step to prevent losing power to places like police precincts hospitals or schools.

"The people that work here are just as important as his office. Did he shut down the power in his office? Come on, Gary," says attorney Grier.

When FOX 2 asked Brown if he gave warning of a planned power shut down Brown says "we didn't get into details like that."

That's a minor detail, right? That you're going to turn off the power to dozens of businesses without warning, on the 12-year anniversary of 9/11, on the hottest day of summer, two days after a deputy was stabbed inside Frank Murphy Hall of Justice? That's not worth mentioning?

Political consultant Steve Hood made a post on his Facebook page that could be called "Gary Brown's so-called power trip."

"Nobody begrudges the city when the power goes out but you need to warn people. And when it's over, while it's going on, you don't need to laugh about It. I thought it was unconscionable," says Hood, referring to Brown's interview with Alexis Wiley on Wednesday,

Brown's reaction, to reactions like this? He tells me he is looking out for the safety of 750,000 people, but many ask, what about those people who were stuck on elevators or  forced to evacuate quickly.

"Someone was injured. I know of her personally. She was injured in extreme pain because of this," says Grier.

Brown also saying if he hadn't made the call to shut down power, that DTE would have.

But when I called DTE officials there say that's simply not true. They supply the power, they don't choose where the power goes.

"You only have to lie if you're over your head. sorry he lied to you," says Hood.

While Brown stresses that power outages happen and there are emergency procedures in place, others say those emergency procedures shouldn't be purposely used without warning.

"He needs to apologize to them. He needs to apologize for not warning them."says Hood.

 

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