Power restored for thousands after high electricity usage knocks it out

Traffic gets backed up due to power outage at South Airport Road and M31.

Power is back on for more than three thousand people and businesses from Old Mission Peninsula all the way to Chum's Corner. They were without power for a couple hours Tuesday afternoon, and nearly a thousand of them into the night.

According to Consumerâ??s Energy's preliminary investigation, there was a break in a high voltage line, likely caused by the day's high electric demand.

The outage was pretty wide spread, but by 6:30 Tuesday evening, crews had restored power for about two thirds of those affected.

One of the last areas to get power restored was right around Grand Traverse Mall.

A lot of people we spoke with said they were looking for air conditioned options for their evening, but were surprised to see so many closed signs on businessesâ?? windows.

â??When we walked in the doors the mall was dark and the power was out- which we didn't know,â?? said Russell Carew. Many people, just like Carew came to Grand Traverse Mall came to catch a flick and enjoy some time in air conditioning. â??We were going to come watch a movie and get out of the heat since we've been in it all day.â??

The power outage, however, had many stores along South Airport Road closed for business early.

â??Itâ??s pretty upsetting. I don't know when I'll be able to get out again to watch it,â?? said Emily Phillips who had made plans to see Grown Ups 2.

Parking lots at stores and restaurants were empty and traffic was backed up at the intersection of US-31 and South Airport Road where the lights were out.

One place where business was booming, however: Buffalo Wild Wings, where the power never went out. There was even a 45 minute line for a table, but customers waiting in the air conditioning didn't mind.

â??My understanding of our building is us, MC Sports, and CityMac are on a separate grid. That's why we don't always lose power when everyone else does,â?? said Steve Andrews, Assistant General Manager for Buffalo Wild Wings.

Businesses like Jineteâ??s Mexican Bar & Grill, part of the same complex, were closed because of the power outage.

Andrews said when the power does go out, saving the food in their refrigerators is top priority. He has some tips for people at home without power: â??I'd definitely say keep them closed as much as you can, very little opening it. It lets the heat out faster than you realize.â??

When the power is out in such hot weather, people find all kinds of ways to stay cool.

â??The fan's broken, so that's not an option. So I just try to drink water and stay out of the sun,â?? said Carew.

â??We're just going to take off on our Harleys to cool off and try to keep our pets cool by putting ice water in their dishes,â?? said Mike Rottow, whose power went out at home.

But an option that most people are resorting to is heading out to spend time near water.

â??I think we might go to the beach,â?? said Adelaide Jones, after finding out her family couldnâ??t see Despicable Me 2 because of the power outage.

Power was restored to the remaining thousand customers around 9:45 Tuesday night.

Consumerâ??s Energy said the peak state-wide electricity usage hit 8,400 megawatts around 4:00 Tuesday afternoon. That comes close to the all time record electric send out of 9,009 megawatts. That record was set last year on July 17.