DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Gov. Rick Snyder says that at one point close to a third of Michigan had no access to electricity after high winds knocked out power this week to more than a million utility customers.
Snyder surveyed damage Friday in a Dearborn Heights neighborhood, west of Detroit.
On Lamphere Street, the governor spoke with reporters as crew worked to replace a power pole damaged when a huge pine tree came down in a backyard.
“It just came right out of the ground,” Snyder said. “And that’s one of the things that we learned: Actually, February was great in terms of many respects, but it wasn’t great in terms of making the ground soft. So when those winds came through, trees just pulled right out of the ground.”
Snyder, who heard questions from reporters about price-gouging at hotels and an impact on businesses, said he doesn’t have much information on those issues just yet. As of Friday morning, a decision had not been made on whether he’ll declare an official State of Emergency.
Meantime, DTE Energy says about 400,000 customers were still without power after Wednesday’s storm, and they hope to cut that number in half by the end of the day Friday. Consumers Energy says about 94,000 of its customers remained without power Friday afternoon.
The utilities say power should be restored to nearly all by Sunday.
Snyder called the storm “unprecedented in terms of the number of power lines, poles broken.” He asked residents to be hang in there.
“People are working very hard,” he told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas and other reporters. “We’ve got the people doing the work, and we just ask for people’s patience, and when people need help, call 211.”
“Let’s ask neighborhoods to help one another and we’re all here to help one another,” Snyder added. “When we have a crisis, let’s have Michiganders step up.”
Dozens of warming centers are open across Michigan. Temperatures were around 30 degrees Friday morning in the Detroit area and expected to remain cold throughout the weekend.
© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.