By Ron Dewey
severe weather awareness What Does It Take To Get The Lights Back On? DTE Works To Educate Public

(credit: Ron Dewey)

Linemen John Celusnak and Tim Schilling demonstrate the dangers of live downed wires in a very eventful display. [Watch Video]

DETROIT (WWJ) – During Severe Storm Awareness Week, DTE Energy is taking the opportunity to educate customers and the media about what it takes to restore the power after the storm.

Vice President of Distribution Vince Dow says the biggest frustration for customers obviously is the outage and the time it takes to fix the problem, but they are working to reduce that time.

“For us, it’s getting into a location, getting the trees and getting things out of the way so our workers can start putting things back up,” Dow said, adding that safety and doing the job properly the first time are top priorities in restoring power.

Dow said they’re working not only to reduce restoration time from outages, but to help residents during their time of need.

“We’ll put a communications person out in a location and … tell people, tweeting them or Facebooking, where to do to give information on a face-to-face basis, handing out ice and water during  the hot summer to people that are out of power,” he said.

Dow said they learned about the need to work with communities during extended outages such as the one last year in Redford Township. Dow said they had a mobile command center set up in tornado-ravaged Dexter to handle outage issues with local leaders and residents.

“Going out and reaching out first in a service recovery after an event like that happened — to start talking to customers about what it is,” said Dow. “… seeing our work through the eyes of our customers. That’s really what have to do and what we’re all about in terms of providing better service to our customers.”

In an average year, DTE Energy deals with outages from 12 to 13 storms a year. Last year, that number was 22.


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