METRO DETROIT (WXYZ) — DTE is reporting 225,305 outages still affecting customers following the severe storms that swept through southeast Michigan on Wednesday and overnight.
According to Heather Rivard, the senior VP of electric distribution, they restored more than 100,000 customers on Wednesday and have already restored another 100,000 outages since then. As of Friday, 89% of DTE customers have power.
Rivard says they hope to wrap up full restoration early next week.
DTE Energy CEO and President Jerry Norcia said they have been investing heavily in their grid and started an "aggressive" tree trimming program, noting that we've been experiencing more frequent high wind events.
The number one priority right now, DTE says, is public safety as they have more than 3,000 downed wires. People are asked to avoid those and stay at least 20 feet back.
According to DTE, they have 2,624 crews in Michigan to help restore power. First, they will restore it to hospitals and other emergency areas, and then they will work on the largest outages.
Outages continue to climb due to damaging winds across metro Detroit and heavy rain.
Storm safety tips:
- 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.
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