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Power at Lucas County jail has been restored

Sheriff Tharp says outage highlights need for new facility

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A Lucas County Sheriff's deputy speaks with a member of Toledo Edison outside of the jail while it remains without electricity today. The jail lost electricity about 6:50 p.m. on Tuesday.

The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
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Electricity service to the Lucas County jail has been restored after having been out for nearly 24 hours.

The jail at 1622 Spielbusch Ave., and three other downtown Toledo buildings, lost power in separate outages on Tuesday night, said Mark Durbin, a spokesman for the utility. The cause is being investigated.

The first incident occurred in an underground vault about 8:15 p.m. and a second event, also in an underground vault, about 15 minutes later, he said.

"We have crews at both locations. We are obviously working very hard to get these customers back into service," the spokesman said.

The other structures that were affected were the Hylant Building, 811 Madison Ave., the AT&T Building, also known as the Ohio Bell Telephone Building, 121 N. Huron St., and the Tower on the Maumee, formerly known as the Fiberglas Tower.

Dave Ball, the owner of the Hylant Building, said the skyscraper is equipped with generators to backup computers and equipment. However, lighting and elevators in the building are not working.

At the Lucas County jail, staff had been using cell phones and inmates have been restricted to their cells, after the jail lost electricity about 6:50 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Lucas County Sheriff's Office.

Also left in the dark was the secure tunnel that runs underground between the jail and the courthouse, which indefinitely delayed some of the court cases that were scheduled.

"Unless power is restored, they are not going to be able to transport prisoners from the jail to the court today," said Roger Kerner, Jr., director of the court deputies office.

Until the power is restored, the jail's records bureau won't be providing concealed carry license and fingerprint services, according to the sheriff's office's Facebook page. Also, the employees' monthly award ceremony scheduled for today is to be rescheduled.

Sheriff's deputies, corrections staff, and Toledo police patrolled outside the jail.

A backup generator powered emergency lights inside.

"We have inmates locked down. We have plenty of perimeter security outside," Sheriff John Tharp said. "The bottom line is we need to make sure the perimeter's secure and everybody's safe, which we are."

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