Thousands Still Struggle Without Power After Last Week’s Winds

DETROIT (WWJ) – DTE Energy says around 15,000 homes and businesses are without power Monday, now five days since intensely damaging winds struck the state.

DTE Senior Vice President Heather Rivard said the goal is that everyone out since Wednesday be back on by midnight Monday. Those who lost power Monday should have it back Tuesday.

[CHECK THE DTE OUTAGE MAP]

After large areas were dealt with, crews are now working on small pockets of outages.

“There’s an outage in Howell where there are about 90 customers out of power, and there will be 16 men working there all day long to replace three broken poles,” Rivard told WWJ Newsradio 950. “Another example, in Dearborn Heights, there are literally 12 blocks of wire down and about 100 customers where 20 men will be working all day long to restore power.”

She said everyone out since Wednesday should be back by midnight Monday. Those who lost power Monday are expected to be back on Tuesday.

At the peak, 800,000 homes and businesses were in the dark, making for “the largest weather event in DTE Energy history.”

To those still waiting at their wit’s end, Rivard said: “I can definitely understand their frustration and their loss of patience; it would be very difficult to go an entire week, even several days without power…”

“The best I can say is that we are doing our best and we are not gonna stop until every customer is back.”

Power coming back on for tens of thousands over the weekend was thanks to the efforts of both local and out-of-state crews. Rivard said, currently, they have about 1,000 linemen on the job from seven different states plus 700 from Michigan. On top of that, she said DTE has about 1,000 tree trimmers at work.

Asked about the possibility of burying power lines in the future, Rivard said that’s a pricey proposition at 10 to 15 times the cost to customers. Even if metro Detroiters wanted to pay for the upgrades, Rivard warned that underground lines come with their own problems.

“…When there is a power outage in an underground lines, it can take substantially more time to locate that outages. And so when the outages do occur they can last substantially longer,” Rivard said.

To report and outage or downed line to DTE, call 800-477-4747.

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