Metro Detroiters, DTE prepare for rising temperatures

Posted at 5:40 PM, Jul 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-18 18:16:34-04

(WXYZ) — A climbing heat index had metro Detroiters seeking shelter from the high temperatures and stifling humidity Thursday.

“Go indoors as fast as I can, turn the air on," is how Milan Susnjar told 7 Action News he beats the heat.

But not everyone had an air conditioned office or home to retreated to.

Maria Faggiano, who works at Stix & Stones Brick Oven pizza truck, was working downtown despite the heat. The limited AC from her truck did little for comfort.

“With the heat of the oven, it really isn’t much. It’s pretty darn hot. It’s about 900 degrees in there right now," she said.

Firefighters also have little escape from high temps in the summer months. On top of battling flames and the humidity, they carry more than 100 pounds of equipment on them.

The best way to avoid a heat stroke according to Deputy Fire Commissioner David Fornell, is to stay hydrated.

"All of our companies are carrying extra water," he said.

Detroit fire chiefs have access to donated water and ice for their crew and EMS.

Faggiano said taking turns on duties is one way her staff stays cool. For her, hydration is also key.

“Lots and lots of water, cold wash cloths, and just taking frequent breaks," she said.

Temperatures are only expected to climb Friday, and with storms anticipated as well, DTE is preparing for possible outages.

“We’re preparing crews and having them on standby so we’re basically an all hands on deck situation right now," said Ryan DTE's VP of Distributions Operations Ryan Stowe.

DTE field crews are working double shifts, and Stowe said energy use for Friday will be record-setting.

“We’re gonna see some outages from it, no doubt. And that’s why we want to be prepared with crews and people standing by.”

It's not the heat that burdens the power grid, Stowe explained, but rather the increased stress on the system from more-than-usual AC usage. He said energy conservation is always encouraged, but people should be comfortable inside their homes.

The grid is designed to be able to handle that usage increase, according to Stowe.

Ways to cut down on your energy usage while also keeping cool this weekend include:

  • Closing the blinds, especially during the day
  • Using ceiling fans if you have them
  • If you're cooking hot food, do so outside on a grill if you have it.

If you experiences a power outage or want to report a downed wire, you can do so via the DTE mobile app or by calling 800-477-4747.