Almost a million people lose power in MI after high winds

Almost a million people lose power in MI after high winds
Almost a million people lose power in MI after high winds
Author

10 March, 2017

At a press conference at DTE Energy Headquarters in downtown Detroit on Thursday, DTE Energy president Trevor Lauer shared details around the widespread power outage and the path toward restoration. A University of MI airplane crashed while trying to take off from the Willow Run Airport at Ypsilanti, located in Washtenaw County. The utility reported the winds took down 7,900 wires and broke about 1,000 poles. No injuries were reported. Huron County EMS said it received roughly 15 calls about trees down.

Limbs and branches will come down, with some trees likely being blown over. Assessments will be taking place for the next several days in Washtenaw County and the rest of Southeast Michigan.

As of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, DTE Energy has almost 500,000 customers without power due to severe winds blowing through its Southeast Michigan service territory.

The heavy winds that hit MI on Wednesday made history, causing the largest number of outages DTE Energy's has had to fix at once.

Between Consumers Energy and DTE Energy, high winds have knocked out power to more than 800,000 customers statewide.

DeDoes noted a particularly unusual circumstance contributing to the outages: warm March weather.

"Please do not go near a downed power line and be aware of the potential for fallen trees, branches, and blowing debris that may cause a potentially unsafe situation", Bouchard said in a release.

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Restoration estimates reach into Sunday in some areas. "We appreciate their commitment to safety and our customers' continued patience".

DTE crews will be working 16-hour shifts around the clock to restore power, and additional crews from Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Pennsylvania will be in MI on Thursday morning to assist. They are extremely unsafe. Watch out for downed power lines and trees.

Customers have three ways to contact DTE during an outage.

He says the outages this week are the worst Consumer's Energy has seen since 2013. "It is DTE's responsibility to ensure our investment decisions meet our customers' energy needs - with affordability and reliability among our top priorities". Do not go near any downed line and report it immediately.

Some may not have power back until the weekend, line workers from out of state will start arriving Thursday morning to help. Operating a generator without proper ventilation can create carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and deadly gas.

ยท Don't open refrigerators or freezers more than absolutely necessary. A closed refrigerator will stay cold for 12 hours. Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.


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