DTE says Friday's winter storm could cause more damage to electric system

Posted at 11:23 PM, Mar 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-02 23:58:49-05

WAYNE, Mich. (WXYZ) — DTE Energy says they are "closely watching" the developing winter storm expected to hit metro Detroit Friday and warn it could cause further damage.

Roughly 3,000 DTE customers — 0.14% of total customers — remained without power Thursday evening, which was much lower than the roughly 500,000 who were without power last week. However, those still in the dark a week later worry about further outages with another round of severe weather.

“It becomes really frustrating when everyone else has got theirs all around us, but it’s just us here with no answers or solutions,” William Tengen of Wayne said.

Zooming with just a single lamp for light, Tengen and Amanda Fritz have been in the dark since last Thursday. They say they're the only house on their block still without power.

“Every so often, you get the updates form DTE saying, oh, it’s going to be restored and every time they say, this day, then the next time, then the next time," Fritz said. "It never resolves itself.”

What makes Fritz and Tengen even more worried is not having power or heat as a winter storm is expected to dump half a foot or more of snow on metro Detroit.

DTE says they are preparing for up to 8 inches of snow and 35 mph to 45 mph winds.

“That's what we’re worried about," Tengen said. "We're hoping we get power back before the storm hits and even more people lose power.”

DTE says they’re closely watching the weather, adding in a staetment:

"Trees and branches weakened by last week’s ice storm may cause more damage to the electric system following the predicted snow and winds. DTE’s Storm Response Team is prepared to respond to power outages caused by the weather as quickly and safely as possible."

“We are very, very concerned about having power to be able to get through this next storm,” Tengen said.

DTE has had more than 4,000 crew members in the field and has restored power to roughly half a million people in just the last week. However, those still without power, and those recently restored, worry their nightmare could happen all over again.

“It's been nothing but a nightmare and frustration because you can't get a live person," Fritz said. "I don't want to yell at them, just ask them, 'Can you tell me anything?'"

DTE brought in 1,000 out-of-state crews last week to assist with restoration. The company says many are sticking around for the next round of storms.

DTE also asks people to stay 25 feet from downed wires or anything in contact with wires. To report a downed wire, call 800-477-4747, visit or report the downed wire on the DTE app.