BEVERLY HILLS, Mich. (WXYZ) — As metro Detroit braces for freezing rain and ice this weekend, DTE Energy is preparing for possible widespread power outages.
“The challenging thing right now with the weather forecast especially in these situations is a few degrees either way really makes a big difference," said DTE's Assistant Storm Manager, Shannen Palmer.
DTE has already called in 200 extra lineman from Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky.
An Ice Storm Warning is in effect for several counties in and around metro Detroit beginning Saturday morning at 4 a.m.
Palmer said a major concern is ice build-up on power lines and poles.
“A half an inch of ice on a power line which is from pole to pole adds 500 pounds of weight, which is the equivalent of a baby grand piano," she said.
DTE's Warren Service Center also stocked extra equipment ahead of the storm.
In the event of a downed power line, DTE recommeneds you stay at least 20 feet away, and treat all downed lines as if they're live. If you see a downed line, you can report it via the DTE Energy Mobile App or by calling 800. 477. 4747.
During:— MSP Metro Detroit (@mspmetrodet) January 10, 2020
Use only flashlights or emergency lighting. Never use candles during a blackout or power outage due to fire risk. Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to keep the contents inside as fresh as possible. If you must eat food, check it carefully for signs of spoilage.
Michigan State Police also tweeted out several reminders ahead of the storm, including reminding people to check if any of their medications require refrigeration. MSP also suggests getting cash out of the ATM in advance, as ATMS won't work in the event of a power outage.