BWL Puts Up PDF, Non-Interactive Map After Power Outage - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

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Static BWL Outage Map Posted After Power Was Restored

Posted: Updated:
Taken around 3:15p.m. Taken around 3:15p.m.

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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