WWJ/Rob Davidek

Over 370k Without Power As Icy Wintry Mix Hits Metro Area

DTE warns to stay away from downed lines.

April 15, 2018 - 11:33 am

DETROIT (WWJ) - Wintry weather has made a mad return mid-April. Freezing rain leading to ice causing trees and tree branches to fall and ice-coated power lines to come down Sunday. 

A DTE Energy spokeswoman says 370,000 customers are without power  Approximately 30,000 customers have had their power restored as of early evening. DTE saying that they expect 90 percent of customers to have power by Tuesday -- so there will be others will not have power until Wednesday. 

The National Weather Service says the freezing line is going to push northward through the afternoon. "Freezing rain and sleet chances continue along and north of freezing line."

Northwest lower Michigan has taken the brunt of the snowfall from Saturday's blizzard, the worst of it in the area surrounded by Traverse City, Gaylord and Petoskey.  That's where between 10 and 15 inches of snow has fallen. Boyne Falls and Elmira, west of Gaylord both topped out at 17 inches.

AccuWeather Meteorologist John Furik says rain will continue this afternoon and freezing rain is still possible north of the city. Expect flurries on Monday and we could a slick commnute Tuesday morning.

Consumers Energy spokesman Roger Morgenstern says about 21,000 customers in Michigan's lower Peninsula have no power.

"We're expecting icing in southern lower Michigan in the Grand Rapids, Lansing areas to continue as the day goes on," said Morgensern. "So, we are expecting new outages because of the freezing rain." 

This weekend's spring storm system also bringing heavy snowfall, powerful winds and rain to several states across the Midwest. 

Morgenstern says at one point they had 50,000 Michigan customers in the dark as the result of this latest storm.

Crews from several states are assisting in the restoration efforts. 

DTE urges all customers to stay away from downed lines. [DTE OUTAGE MAP>

[REPORT AN OUTAGE>  and you can [CHECK STATUS>

If you are planning on going out today for almost any type of event you might want to put in a call first to make sure the event is running or the business is open. 

Kensington Church community -- which has six different metro Detroit locations - canceled services in Birmingham, Clarkston, Clinton and Shelby Townships and Orion due to the weather.  A 6 p.m. evening service on the Orion campus will be held, as scheduled.

The weather has caused the Detroit Tigers to postpone both games of a split doubleheader against the Yankees today. At least one Michigan zoo has closed. 

Safety Tips During a Storm

Stay at least 20 feet away from downed power lines and anything they are in contact with, including puddles of water and fences. Keep children and pets away too.
Be extremely cautious near metal fences, which conduct electricity, following a severe storm. Electric current will be the strongest where a downed power line is touching a metal fence. Even a connecting fence several backyards away can be energized and dangerous.

Safety Tips After a Storm

Stay out of flooded/damp basements or other areas if water is in contact with outlets, a furnace or any electrically-operated appliance. Most water or moisture conducts electricity. Contact may cause a serious or fatal injury.
Keep portable heaters or candles away from flammable materials.Properly vent portable or space heaters. Keep children and pets away.

Portable Generator Safety

Provided it’s installed and operated properly, a portable generator can be a good, temporary power supply for lighting, vital medical equipment, refrigerators, sump pumps and essential appliances. When using a portable generator, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid injuring someone or damaging your generator or appliances. Learn more about selecting, installing and operating a portable generator.

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