DTE Energy gearing up for strong windstorm heading Michigan's way

Posted at 11:02 AM, Feb 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-24 09:30:49-05

(WXYZ) — DTE Energy announced Friday there will be more than 1,000 employees and contractors on standby for restoration efforts ahead of a windstorm expected in Michigan.

"Right now, we are at our Warren service center which is our main hub for receiving and distributing our equipment to all of our service centers throughout our territory," says Morgan Elliott Andahazy, DTE's acting storm director.

Strong winds and gusts up to 50 mph are expected to blow throughout Southeast Michigan, beginning Sunday morning.

"The downed wires and safety of our public is number one priority, which is why we have specific people who will be focused on responding to those reports in the field."

"They are going to work as fast as they can, they are also going to make sure they do it as safely as possible."

Residents can check DTE's power outage map here.

The company urges customers to keep these storm tips in mind:

  • 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.