UPDATE, Dec. 13, 3 pm:
ELi has just received as response from Ben Miller, Comcast’s Director of Governmental & Regulatory Affairs for the “Heartland Region.”
Miller confirms that the major Comcast outage in East Lansing and Meridian Township stems from Saturday’s accident involving a train, and that the damage “was significant.”
BWL’s restoration work took precedent, and according to Miller, “Comcast needed BWL to set poles for us to reattach our fiber lines and restore service.”
“That having been said,” Miller continued, “poles on the north and south side of the roads have been set and we building the new fiber now. The update as of this afternoon is that we expect service to be restored today.”
UPDATE, Dec. 13, 1:30 pm:
We received the following statement by email from Mayor Ron Bacon:
“Comcast has been in frequent communication. BWL and Comcast share some of the same infrastructure that was destroyed by the train accident, BWL has some inherent work arounds to the broke poles, that Comcast doesn’t not. It appears Comcast feels the have found a working solution to this issue in the very near future. They are working diligently to get this issues resolved. Comcast can provide specifics into the timeline.”
Comcast has not yet responded to ELi’s requests for information. Residents continue to report widespread outages and frustration at the situation.
Original story follows:
With Comcast customers now on day three of a major outage in East Lansing, several readers from the Bailey and Whitehills neighborhoods have written to ELi this morning to ask us what we can find out. The answer is: so far not much, but we will keep trying.
The major outage appears to be directly related to the accident involving a train on Saturday.
Lansing’s Board of Water and Light (BWL), which provides electricity to much of East Lansing, reported that at about 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, “an eastbound train crossing Hagadorn Rd. near Michigan State University’s campus entangled with a wire, causing approximately 30 BWL power poles to break along Hagadorn Rd. between Grand River Ave. and Mt. Hope Ave., causing more than 4,000 customers to lose power.”
Photos of the scene show the accident made a terrible mess of the grid. The big commercial sign at Hannah Plaza was destroyed, but remarkably, there have been no reports of injuries to people. BWL is on scene today replacing poles.
A media inquiry from ELi into Comcast about the issue this morning has not yet resulted in confirmation that the train accident is the cause of the Comcast outage, but it seems likely based on the timing.
Captain Chad Connelly of East Lansing Police says that department is not able to shed any additional light on the matter, and Mayor Ron Bacon has not yet responded to an inquiry about the situation. (ELi readers are fed up enough with the outages that they’re asking what the City is doing, so we’re asking for them.)
According to BWL, all power in the area has been restored. Businesses in the Hagadorn Road area are generally back open and running, although road closures and detours remain as large numbers of crews work to clean up the disaster area.
Comcast’s service in Michigan is regulated by the Michigan Public Services Commission, which means customers can file complaints with that agency. (Click here to read how to file a complaint.)
If you’re a customer impacted by the outage, you should know that Comcast will most likely not automatically credit your account for the loss of service. This page explains how to get a refund for a Comcast outage, once it ends.
We will update this article as more information becomes available. We will also be emailing this article out to people signed up for our e-mail newsletters, because they told us that they can’t generally read what is at ELi’s website and need us to send information by email.
ELi is fundraising for our 2022 Sustainability Campaign in the hopes of being here for you throughout 2022. Make a tax-deductible contribution now and we will get a one-to-one match!