FERNDALE (WWJ) – The excessive heat and higher electrical demand has led DTE Energy to begin intentional rolling blackouts in one Metro Detroit community, Thursday afternoon, and at least one other area could follow.

Residents in Ferndale, already hit with roughly 5,000 outages due to “system stress”, are now on rolling blackouts for the rest of the day.

“It allows us to make sure that we’re not putting excessive stress on equipment that may already be damaged, which could cause a more serious problem,” said DTE spokesman Len Singer.

“It assures that one batch of customers isn’t burdened with a power outage for the entire period of time,” he said.

Singer said DTE has notified customers in Ferndale that they will rotate outages, with power out for two hours and then on for two hours for customers in problem areas.

Singer said they are also keeping their eye on electrical demand in Warren to determine if rolling blackouts will be necessary there as well.

There were about 25,000 DTE customers without electricity, Thursday afternoon, as temperatures were set to hit the triple digits in Metro Detroit.  The biggest outages right now are in Redford Township, Detroit’s westside, Ferndale and Plymouth Township.

Ferndale resident Mason Campbell is one of those coping without electricity.

“The apartment’s very hot, the air is thick and humid,” Campbell said. “You know, we live in small apartments and maybe, if you went on the porch, you’d probably be able to sleep, maybe … but it’s kind of difficult,” he said.

Kathy Marvin, also in Ferndale, called the WWJ Newsroom to share how garden lights came to the rescue.

“I brought in a half-dozen solar lights and put them by the dog’s water bowl, the bathroom, kitchen and living room, so I could have light in the house,” said Marvin.

“It was safe. There was no danger to it whatsoever … I was without power for about eight hours, and they were still lit up when I got my power back on at about three o’clock this morning,” she said.

DTE spokesman Len Singer told WWJ the heat wave has caused a few problems. “This has been a really extended period of extreme weather for us. We’re not accustomed to seeing this kind of weather multiple days in a row. In fact, it’s probably been the 1990s since we’ve seen this sort of a stretch of weather,” said Singer.

DTE is giving out bags of ice and water at a community center in Ferndale, which the city is using as a cooling center.

Meantime, Consumers Energy is asking its nearly two million electric customers to reduce their power use because of the heat wave.  The Jackson-based utility says temperatures in the 90s and high humidity have pushed up the customer demand for electricity to near-record levels on its system. 

Temperatures are expected to hit near the 100 degree mark Thursday, but, when factoring in the sky-high heat and humidity levels the temperature may feel like close to 110 degrees.

An Excessive Heat Warning is in effect in Southeast Michigan until 10 p.m. Thursday. For the latest forecast, stay tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 for traffic and weather, every 10 minutes on the 8s. Visit our weather page.

Comments (178)
  1. Jill Craft says:

    People need to learn that you can’t count on the government when it is needed. You should get food, water and gas now while there are still services available.


    Learn to prepare yourself and loved ones for crises such as this ahead of time.

  2. EllieEnlightened says:

    Yea go green with windmills see where that gets you.

  3. EllieEnlightened says:

    I have a great idea. Let’s get rid of coal powered plants and use windmills.

  4. Flozell Black says:

    I think it’s completely racist that they call them “Black-outs”

    1. Steve says:

      They weren’t using “blackouts” as a noun…they were using it as an adjective of what will happen tonight.

  5. buckeyejim says:

    Hey just follow “Our Great Leader” he has a plan, less power to all Americans, unless you live in the Washington beltway, more cost for energy and water, and food, and rent, and clothes,and cars, and paint, and light bulbs,and gas,and coffee and tea, sugar cost more now,. Wow how lucky we are to have Barry Obozo leading the way for us after sitting on his hands for two years , he has really stepped in solved the debt ceiling problem for us. Soon it will be back to the good old spend, spend ,spend we all know and love.And the beltway people will be happy and our union brothers will more money push into their pockets.

  6. Jeff Bergman says:

    This is your green future.

    The price will go up and the reliability will go down.

    People will really die, not in theory, but in reality, hell, people are dying of heat stroke today.

    Keep shutting down coal powered electrical plants planned for Michigan because car batteries are the future.

    Lemmings. Don’t believe me. How come so called conservationists always talk about the thermostat and never about the TV clicker.

    Because telling you how smart you are while brain washing you with the boob tube is how they derive their power.

    Al Gore is the Chicken Little of the new millenium.

  7. mnman says:

    Not even tree years yet. Imagine what he can do in eight.

  8. GlomOnToMe says:

    Blackouts in Detroit?! If there was ever a scenario that calls for concealed carry, this is it!

  9. Mimi says:

    There’s only one g in bigot. All you poor slobs still living in Detroit, don’t get any ideas about moving to a red state where we’re doing just fine. We don’t want you.

  10. Spamm Ghodd says:

    Let all the dark welfare minorities suffer and die.No great loss to anyone!

  11. Spamm Ghodd says:

    Instant ghetto, just add nlggers!

  12. Spamm Ghodd says:

    Can you tell me one area that’s full of negroes that isn’t a hell hole?!? Instant ghetto, just add niggly minority groups!

  13. Ernaldo T says:

    Don’t you mean African American outs? Not very PC…..

  14. Jamie says:

    How in the world did a local power outage turn into a racist argument about politics?

    Ignorance must really be bliss, because these people who are pretending to know it all must be miserable!

  15. tremayfreon caudwell says:

    so what time do de riots start? can’t believe l. rastis nefarious is gonna chill…

  16. Mae says:

    I don’t understand the brownouts. Why have air conditioniing if you can’t use it?
    DTE makes enough money to keep equipment up to date. I am disgusted…

  17. k says:

    Just like the Philippines! The Democrat Party and the environmentalists are determined to make the US a third world country. Looks like they are succeeding. Enjoy it liberals, the rest of us do not.

  18. Ruckus says:

    If you have a detached house, it would be wise to have your own standvby Generator that will automatically start when the power fails. This is not going to get better. This is a lesson. Do not expect progress from this government. Learn now to fend for yourself. You can purchase a LPG Generator from Home Depot and they work great. Get one that is ample to run your AC , refirgerator and a few lights. Good luck, !

  19. elmer says:

    bet you monen that your power company is running about 125-130 vac in the 110 side. its been proven hundreds of times that only 115-117 vac is required. this over voltage situation also makes everyones meter spin faster – on a 100 dollar a month bill, you are giving approx 10-20 a month to your electric company , if they simply turned the power down slightly, there would be more current for everyone, and far less blackouts. this goes on all over america folks– its a sneaky way to fleese you for every nickel that they can.

  20. dawgsrule says:

    F**k’em. You get what you vote for.

  21. Ruckus says:

    We need this Blackout Excuse me I meant to say WE NEED THIS ” BLACK ”

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  24. KansasGirl says:

    The government isn’t going to do this if I have anything to say about it!

    If I’m cold, I’ll turn up the heat and pay for it, If I’m hot, I turn up the air-conditioner and pay for it also. I’ve always paid my way. I’m tired of the people who think I should pay their way.

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