As of 8 am. Thursday, about 500,000 DTE Energy customers are without power after wind gusts of more than 70 mph and heavy rains ripped across Michigan and surrounding states. The severe weather caused damage to parts of our electric infrastructure and knocked down more than 3,100 power lines.
Our teams are working in 16 hour shifts around the clock to restore power and secure downed power lines as quickly and safely as possible. More than 1,800 DTE personnel are working to restore service, and we have called in more than 1,000 additional out-of-state linemen to help with restoration efforts.
Customers will receive a more detailed estimate once a crew has been assigned to their outage.
When storms of this size leave extensive damage in their wake, DTE crews must first arrive on each scene to assess the extent of damage, as well as determine the number and types of crews and equipment required to safely restore power to impacted customers. This work often requires extensive work to make the site safe for restoration work, such as tree limb or entire tree removal.
Our customer safety is our number one priority, they should stay at least 20 feet away from all power lines and anything they’re in contact with, and consider them energized and extremely dangerous. Customers should also heed the warning of yellow caution tape, which indicates there is a downed power line in the area. DO NOT CROSS YELLOW CAUTION TAPE.
Customers should report outages or down power lines online at outage.dteenergy.com or with the DTE Energy Mobile app and not by phone, due to technical issues we have experienced with our phone carrier.
· 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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