storm damage

(photo: WWJ/Ron Dewey)

DTE: 45,000 Remain Without Power After Wind Storm

About 300k were without power at the height of the storm

May 06, 2018 - 4:11 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) - About 75,000 DTE customers woke Sunday morning to sun but no power -- that's changing quickly according to the utility.

As of Sunday afternoon DTE Energy reporting that they've restored power to roughly 255,000 customers -- leaving about 45,000 still waiting to get back on the grid. 

DTE Storm Director Paul Witman live on WWJ  -- talking about where the outages are concentrated. 

"I'd would say that there are two primary areas; we've got the core inner city in Detroit and primarily in the Thumb were the two hardest hit areas and those are coming back at an equal pace and will both be restored at about the same time," says Witman. 

Friday's wind storm knocked down trees and power lines across the metro Detroit area. At the peak, more than 300,000 homes and businesses were without power as winds approaching 70 mph swept through the area, according to a previous update from spokesperson Peter Ternes.

DTE Energy says they expect to have over 90 percent of impacted customer back online by Sunday night.

While much of the metropolitan area was affected, the worst of the storms were seen further north in the northern thumb area, including Lapeer and St. Clair Counties, according to Ternes.

"You'll see concentrations on our outage map all throughout the Detroit area," Ternes said. "Down a little bit further south in the Washtenaw County area, there's a bigger concentration that we're focusing on too."

In Independence Township, a man was killed when he was crushed by a tree while doing yard work; and in South Lyon, a postal worker was struck and pinned by a falling tree. He went to the hospital in critical condition, but his condition has not been updated.

Workers are here from Minnesota, Tennesse, Indiana, as well as Northern Michigan are helping in the effort.  As of Sunday morning about 5,000 Consumers Energy customers remain without power.

Motorists should treat all traffic lights that are out as four-way stops.

Storm tips:   

Never drive across a downed power line. If a power line falls on your vehicle, remain inside until help arrives. 

Always operate generators outdoors to avoid dangerous buildup of toxic fumes.  

Don’t open refrigerators or freezers more often than absolutely necessary. A closed refrigerator will stay cold for 12 hours. Kept closed, a well-filled freezer will preserve food for two days.   

Turn off or unplug all appliances to prevent an electrical overload when power is restored. Leave on one light switch to indicate when power is restored.  

If a customer is elderly or has a medical condition that would be adversely impacted by a power outage, they should try to make alternative accommodations with family or friends. 

During low-voltage conditions – when lights are dim and television pictures are smaller – shut off motor-driven appliances such as refrigerators to prevent overheating and possible damage. Sensitive electronic devices also should be unplugged.  

Stay out of flooded or damp basements or other areas if water is in contact with outlets or any electrically-operated appliance. The water or moisture may serve as a conductor of electricity. This can cause serious or even fatal injury.  

Assemble an emergency kit. It should include a battery-powered radio, a flashlight and candles, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a fire extinguisher, bottled water and non-perishable food. 

Customers who depend on electrically powered medical equipment should ask their physician about an emergency battery back-up system. If a customer is elderly or has a medical condition that would be adversely impacted by a power outage, they should develop an emergency plan that allows for alternative accommodations with family or friends.  

Keep a corded or cell phone on hand because a cordless telephone needs electricity to operate. Also, customers should learn how to manually open automated garage doors.  
Customers who depend on a well for drinking water need to plan ahead on how they will obtain water. Store containers of water for cooking and washing.