DTE outlines mission to raise awareness about danger of downed power lines

Posted at 9:57 PM, Jun 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-01 07:21:16-04

How well did DTE Energy respond to a major storm in May where more than 250,000 people lost power? That's the focus of a state investigation into the energy company, with a major deadly on Friday for DTE to submit their report.

In that report, DTE shows its plans for future storms - including a push to keep the public safe.

On Friday afternoon, DTE invited 7 Action News to show us what can happen if you don't stay away from those downed power lines. It's roughly 8,000 volts if you come into contact with a downed main line.

The energy company is pushing awareness more than ever after Michigan's regulatory arm launched an investigation into its response to the storm. 

A Detroit woman died after the storm when she grabbed a down line roped off in her backyard.

"It's certainly a tragic incident like that that illustrates some of the hazards around a downed power line," Ryan Stowe, the executive director of DTE distribution operations, said. "We want to help get the message out and make sure everybody's aware."

That's part of the approach DTE outlined it its report given to the Michigan Public Service Commission.

DTE says more than 100 down line reports per hour were coming in during the worst of it, 3,000 reports in all. They tell the MPSC that prevention starts with continuing a plan to replace the oldest parts of the system, accelerate tree cutting to minimize damage during a storm, improve how fast they can get to downed lines and education the public to stay 20 feet away.

Check out the entire report below.

DTE Report on MPSC Investigation by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd