Ten power outages leave Ann Arbor neighborhood with fried appliances, electronics

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) - "There was a loud boom like a cannon going off."

Jesse Johnson says it all started on Memorial Day, a loud bang followed by a blackout at his Ann Arbor home.

DTE, he says, quickly came out to restore the power, but what he didn’t know is that it would just be the beginning of an outage saga for homeowners living in a portion of the Ann Arbor-Scio township area.

Johnson says the outages happened multiple times. On one occasion, the problem turned serious, when two of his power surges protectors began to smoke, seemingly about to catch fire.

In both cases, he was able to spot the problem and remove it before someone got hurt.  But his biggest concern is a power surge happening when he's home asleep, and unable to tend to the problem, thereby threatening a safety hazard for him and his family.

And Johnson isn't the only one. Other neighbors in the area say they've experienced the power surges happen on ten different occasions, each time, causing major damages.

A tally of the items they’ve lost so far includes an air conditioner, roof solar panels, a furnace, a Q-LED TV, and several surge protectors.

The question they want answered why is this happening and what's being done to make sure it's being stopped? DTE says it goes back to tree interference, a problem they are working to alleviate.

Right now, they say they're working on trimming trees, upgrading overhead power lines to make them stronger, and also adding a substation in the area at Miller and Delhi, which is expected to reduce the likelihood of a power outage. Substation construction will start in 2019.

7 Action News will continue to monitor the problem.

In the meantime, if the same thing happens to you, DTE says you can help avoid damages by making sure your home’s electrical system is up to code, keeping electronics and appliances on separate circuits, and of course, by reporting the problem to them immediately.

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