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DTE blames flooded freeways on lack of infrastructure coordination with GLWA and MDOT

Posted at 5:24 PM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 17:23:59-04

(WXYZ) — After strong winds and heavy rain again this week, metro Detroit freeways were flooded. Officials said power outages caused the pumps to fail.

Today we got a strong response from Trevor Lauer, DTE President and Coo who said, “What's that critical infrastructure that they either need to have backup power on emergency generators on? Great example’s the hospital systems right we know exactly which hospital system, what their backup generation is and if they don't have backup generation, what additional lines, do we need to feed them?”

DTE has crews working around the clock to restore power to hundreds of thousands of residents.

Lauer says some of the outages can be prevented by trimming trees and replacing wooden poles with stronger, steel poles. But the storms this summer have been stronger and hitting more often.

“This has been 60 and 70 mile an hour winds hitting us. Normally you get one and then repair everything. We’ve got one then we got another one then another one,” Lauer said.

Other crews have been coming in from other states to assist DTE. Line crews are members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. They can pull 16 and 24 hours shifts but then take a mandatory 8 hours off.

Their work is dangerous. Their work is stressful.

Some people have been told with outages affecting hundreds of thousands of people, some repairs might not be done until Sunday.

In June after the first major storm, a DTE worker was killed during a repair in northwest Detroit.