DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Utility crews will continue working through the weekend to restore electricity to thousands of homes and businesses without power following this week’s severe thunderstorms.

DTE Energy said early Saturday about 45,000 of its customers were without power, mostly in Oakland and Wayne counties. Consumers Energy reported about 23,700 of its customers without power.

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Most of those without electricity lost service after storms late Wednesday and Thursday.

[GALLERY] Metro Detroit Storm Damage

Consumers Energy had 160 crews on the job Thursday and said more are being called in from Indiana. DTE Energy says its crews are working 16-hour shifts.

“Our guys are going up the poles with 60 pounds of equipment, they’re wearing protective clothing, a lot of it is rubber, and it really keeps the heat within. So, they have to stay hydrated and it’s really a difficult process,” said DTE’s Scott Simons.

Simmons said trees knocked down by storms are making the restoration efforts more difficult.

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“The tree damage has to be cleared before we make repairs. So, all the visuals of trees and downed limbs, all that has to be chopped up and taken away before our crews can even get to the powerline restoration,” he said.

At its peak, the outages affected about 325,000 DTE Energy customers and 104,000 Consumers Energy customers.

Friday’s forecast calls for temperatures to hit or surpass 100 degrees in several cities across the state, including Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing. The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning, now in effect until 8 p.m. Saturday. (More on the Heat Advisory, here).

Tips: Stay Safe During A Power Outage

For the latest forecast, keep it tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 for traffic and weather, every 10 minutes on the 8s. To check the local radar anytime or get further forecast details on our weather page.

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