DTE brings in 400 additional line workers ahead of storm

Posted at 9:43 PM, Sep 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-14 23:16:24-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Storm after storm and flood after flood. DTE has had its hands full this summer.

The weather was hampering DTE's infrastructure. In the month of August, nearly 1 million DTE customers lost power.

But DTE was prepping for this week's storms a couple of days in advance. They brought in a total of 400 extra linemen to help with power restoring efforts if outages became a significant issue.

Downed power lines, DTE distribution feeds, which send power to several substations, were all impacted.

"This weather pattern has really been an outlier. I haven't seen anything like this in my 20-year career with DTE. Just the severe thunderstorm after severe thunderstorm," said DTE V.P. Distribution Operations Ryan Stowe.

But here in metro Detroit, we got lucky. Mother Nature didn't lash out as expected. But that doesn't mean DTE wasn't ready.

Earlier this month, DTE says they've invested nearly $70 million into tree trimming and tree removal in hopes of combating extreme weather-related power outages.

But tree damage to lines is mainly responsible for most power outages during high wind events. DTE adds that with the tree trimming efforts, outages are down nearly 60%.

But with an aging electrical system that can also cause problems, "We've got an electrical system that we started building in the 1920s and older, and we do have vintages of equipment that's in service. and all the way from then until now with new substations that we've just started up, but it's equipment that we need to take care of and maintain," said Ryan Stowe.

But here are some tips that can keep you safe during a storm:

  • Stay away from downed power lines that broken tree limbs can hide.
  • Please stay away from caution tape and do not go under it. It is there for a reason.
  • If the power does go out, do not bring your generator inside because the fumes can cause carbon monoxide issues.