July 19, 2019 – Madison, WI – At approximate 8 a.m. today, July 19, a Washington County Insider reporter witnessed fire and explosions at the Madison Gas and Electric Distribution Center (MG&E) on Livingston and E. Washington Avenue in Madison, WI.
Authorities say the the fire is now out but it has left over 12,000 without power in the downtown Madison/Isthmus area.
Governor Evers issued the following statement via his official Twitter account, “We are asking non-essential state employees headquartered downtown to go home for the day and asking folks to please avoid the downtown area.”
During a press conference this morning a MG&E spokesperson has stated they do not know how long the power outage will last at this time and are currently working on the situation. MG&E spokesperson indicates that those affected by the outages consider what to do if they are without power overnight, “Think about what your options are… Take care of each other and your neighbor.”
Another spokesperson for MG&E, Jeff Keebler, said, “We do believe it was a mechanical issue…” “We did not have employees in the substation. There were no injuries.”
Madison employees and residents are being asked to move to a cooling shelter. The Kohl Center, 601 W. Dayton, is now open for people to take respite from the heat as well as the Senior Center, 330 W. Mifflin St.
The City of Madison has stated that all city-run libraries, including the Central Library, are open as cooling centers and have power.
The Water Utility Water Wagon will also be downtown at the top of State Street from 11:30 am – 2:00 pm. They will have water bottles and cups.
The downtown well has no power, so water pressure may be lower than normal downtown.
No injuries appear to have happened as a result of this fire.
If you have friends or family members that live in the downtown Madison/Isthmus area, please check on them and offer assistance if you are able during this extremely hot weather.
Video courtesy: WCI cub reporter