THIS ARTICLE WAS UPDATED on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, at 6:25 p.m. (Find the update below the earlier reporting.)
East Lansing residents are reporting power and internet outages around town as big winds today have knocked down big branches, trees, and poles.
Meanwhile, along Hagadorn Road just south of Grand River Avenue, a line of electric poles have been snapped in half, with wires sagging down in some cases to the road. Police are on the scene to keep people away.
That enormous problem was caused by a train getting caught in downed lines.
The Ingham County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management posted to Facebook today, “Avoid Hagadorn Road near MSU for a LONG time… A train was caught up in some downed power lines and it’s a mess.”
ELPD sent out an alert on the Nixle system at 1:22 p.m. that “Motorists are advised to avoid Hagadorn Road, between Mount Hope and Grand River. The road is not accessible due to wires down.”
The BWL outage map is currently showing outages centered in that area.
Motorists are being reminded to treat all traffic signals that are out as if they are four-way stops. Teams from the Public Works Department are out working on downed trees, and traffic lights are out along Grand River Avenue from Hagadorn Road west.
Downed power lines can be reported by calling ELPD at the non-emergency line of (517) 351-4220 and choosing option 2. Report outages to your utility service provider.
UPDATE from ELi’s Andrew Graham: According to the latest update from public officials, power in the area is expected to come back on around 8:30 p.m. tonight.
In an update posted to the The Ingham County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management Facebook page around 5 p.m. — originally posted by Meridian Township Manager Frank Walsh — it was stated that “a train traveling east on Hagadorn in front of MSU caught a low hanging wire and snapped 34 power poles.”
In total, 34 power poles were taken down and it will take about three or four days to replace and repair them.
No injuries have been reported as a result of the accident.
As a result of the accident, the large sign advertising Pizza House and Hannah Plaza burned down.
An East Lansing resident with whom ELi spoke said they were trying to leave the Michigan Athletic Club and were obstructed by the accident. Several people on Facebook have inquired with authorities about getting back to their apartments — The Lodges are located just to the south — or getting to Suburban Ice.
At the time when the train came through the road crossing and caught on the power lines, a number of people in the area were trying to get to the Breslin Center for MSU’s men’s basketball game versus Penn State. That is when Mel Spencley saw the train reversing slowly through the intersection among the wreckage. While Spencley didn’t see the incident happen, she did post video of what she saw to Facebook.
For Michigan State University students without power, the Student Union posted a reminder that it is open until midnight and has WiFi and heat.
Additionally, several residents who get internet, cable and phone service via Comcast Xfinity have confirmed to ELi throughout the afternoon and evening that their service has been down.
This article is being updated as more information becomes available.