DETROIT (WWJ) – Five hundred thousand down — 248,000 to go.
DTE Energy says crews are making progress restoring power to more than 800,000 homes and businesses that went offline during the gale force winds that pounded the southeast Michigan area for 12 hours on Wednesday. The utility described it as a “once in a century weather event.”
As of 9:30 p.m. Friday, approximately 248,000 customers remain without power. DTE expects to have roughly 90 percent of customers restored by Sunday evening. The outages are widespread across the region, with the hardest hit areas in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties.
[Check DTE’s power outage map] (updated every 30 minutes)
The high winds caused extensive tree damage, resulting in more than 9,000 reported downed power lines. Due to the unusually warm weather this winter, as well as significant rainfall, the ground is very soft and saturated. That, combined with the high winds, caused trees to uproot, falling onto poles and power lines.
DTE says it was the most significant weather event it has experienced in its more than 100-year history. Crews including more than 1,800 linemen and 700 contractors and workers from other states are working 16-hours shifts around the clock to restore power. DTE also has 700 tree trimmers working.
[To report and outage or downed line, call DTE Energy at 800-477-4747]