(UPDATE) (Sunday, Dec. 12, 3:11 p.m.)— The Lansing Board of Water & Light expects to restore power Sunday to residents living in East Lansing following a train accident, and high winds.
In the video below, Lynae Garcia, shared with 6 News her experience capturing the train accident in East Lansing on video that caused major power outages.
The train accident happened on Saturday around 11:00 a.m. on Hagadorn Rd. near Michigan State University’s campus. The train became entangled with a wire, causing approximately 30 power poles to break along Hagadorn Rd. between Grand River Ave. and Mt. Hope Ave.
The crash with power poles caused nearly 4,000 customers to lose power.
“We know power outages are an inconvenience, and our crews are working hard to get everyone’s power restored quickly and safely following this morning’s train accident,” said BWL General Manager Dick Peffley. “We expected all but two customers to be restored tonight, however, we found more damage than anticipated and believe around 60 customers will remain without power overnight.”
There were also several power outages due to high winds that Lansing Board Water and Lights says they are responding to.
“We’ve called in mutual aid crews to help get our customers back on quickly, though we expect the full repair and replacement of our equipment such as power poles and lines will take several days,” said Peffley. “The full incident remains under investigation.”
EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Many are spending the day in East Lansing in the dark as windstorms sweep across Michigan.
“They told all the servers to come outside and when they went outside, the sign back there exploded; and a fire started obviously,” said Ian Schneider, a Michigan State University Student. “And they basically sort of had to rush to the other side of the parking lot,” he said.
Schneider was on his way to a restaurant in Hannah Plaza when it happened. A train caught a power line and pulled down just about everything attached to it.
A Facebook post from Saturday afternoon published by the Lansing Board of Water & Light said that 4,000 customers are without power in East Lansing.
“We were actually on our way to go study off-campus and we got stopped by the train,” said Nathalia Morales, a first-year MSU student. “We didn’t understand what happened until a conductor told us that they hit a power line. So, we really had to cross the train an hour ago and we have yet to get on the other side of the train tracks,” she said.
The train was carrying cargo and no passengers were on board. BWL said that 4,000 customers around East Lansing were without power. The outage left many students, like Carson Middlebrook, looking for new places to study, and right before finals.
“Restaurants around us are out and you can’t get anywhere because the power lines are down on the road so kind of trapped,” she said.
“We live at the Hannah lofts and the power is out, we are out of wifi and it’s also freezing cold out right now. we’re trying to get to campus to study,” said Annelise Kulpanowski.
Students on campus had better luck.
“Most of campus still has power. It’s just the wifi that’s very spotty,” said Faith Quevedo.
A BWL spokesperson said in the press conference that he hadn’t seen “anything like this” in his tenure.
6 News was on the scene as East Lansing Police blocked off sections of Hagadorn Road after a large section of the power line was knocked down. The down wire blocked trains and cars from passing through the area.
Businesses in nearby Hannah Plaza, across the street from Michigan State University, lost power after the line fell and destroyed the plaza’s signage.
6 News will have more as this story develops.