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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – After power went out for more
than 6,500 Lansing Board of Water and Light customers Wednesday afternoon, the
utility posted an outage map as promised, but it wasn't quite the map customers
expected to see.
"We explained that we would have a map up, but that it would be
rudimentary," said BWL CEO J. Peter Lark.
The map was a simple PDF file of the Lansing
area. It lacked a key and markings to distinguish major roads and intersections,
as well as the ability to zoom into specific regions.
Spokesman Stephen Serkaian said the outage happened
around 2:15 p.m. and affected customers in the downtown, REO
Town and south Lansing areas due to an equipment failure at
the Eckert Power Station. Power was restored to customers shortly after 3 p.m.
When the outage first happened, there was no map on
BWL's website to show where the outages were (as pictured at left). At 4p.m., a
link to an
outage map was put on the BWL website. Posting the map after power was
restored made some customers question the company's capability to let them
know where the outages are when they happen.
"This is the beginning of the map," said Lark. "There are still other layers of software that
are necessary to be implemented to make it more interactive."
The company promised on January 7 that within a week, there would be an outage
map posted online. No map was posted by January 14, and Serkaian said it was
because there were no outages to report.
"Can it be a better map?
Yes it can," said Lark. "Will it be a better map? Yes it will."
The company did not give a date on when customers can expect a more detailed and
interactive map, but said will take time to create a robust system similar to
other systems in the state.
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