DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Crews are working to restore power to thousands of homes and businesses following severe thunderstorms that moved through Michigan.
Major utilities reported more than 29,000 homes and businesses were still without power across the state Friday afternoon.
DTE Energy said about 25,000 of its customers didn’t have power out of an initial 75,000 that were affected by storms that struck Thursday.
DTE spokesman Alejandro Bodipo-Memba said the hardest-hit areas were in Wayne, Oakland and Washtenaw counties. The remaining outages are scattered throughout DTE’s service area.
“Down power lines we’ve seen; we’ve gotten a number of reports of that, and I think your listeners have called in to your station about that as well,” said Bodipo-Memba. “And we definitely want folks to know that, if they encounter down power lines, to stay at least 20 feet away from them.”
A series of five poles, along I-275 at 7 Mile Road, snapped — bringing down two sets of power lines: one residential, one commercial.
WWJ Newsradio 950′s Mike Campbell spoke with DTE Energy Western Wayne Service Center Supervisor Brian Haddow at the scene.
“We have the ability to isolate a problem like this and then pick up the load from different points in the circuit. That’s how all our circuits are built,” he said. ”I think that we have about three customers out on one of these circuits and we have about 24 customers out on the other one.”
Haddow said it would be difficult to pick a time when power would be restored in areas where poles are snapped — and there are several. In this case, they were waiting on new poles to be shipped over from the Wixom plant.
On the west side of the state, Consumers Energy said about 4,400 of its customers were without service, including about 2,300 in Iosco County. The utility reported about 7,000 outages on Thursday.
Additionally, a wind advisory has been issued for the metro Detroit region, in effect from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday. CBS 62 Chief Meteorologist Jim Madaus said there will be sustained winds at 25 to 30 mph from the west-southwest, with gusts between 40 and 50 mph.
DTE said the high winds could hamper restoration efforts and cause additional outages.
Flooding was also a problem and there could be more to come. Madaus said water levels could keep rising as up to four inches of rain fall on parts of the state through Friday.
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