(CBS DETROIT) – After heavy thunderstorms moved through southeast Michigan DTE Energy says about 35,000 customers are without power as of 9 a.m. Thursday.

A total of 65,000 customers have been impacted by the storms, and DTE has restored power to nearly 50 percent so far.

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DTE expects to restore power to 95 percent of customers by end of day Thursday, with the remaining customers restored Friday.

“We know how difficult it is to be without power, and we ask for our customers’ patience as our crews work 16-hour shifts around the clock until all customers are safely restored. We ask that everyone use extra caution when outdoors today cleaning up from the damage, to watch for downed power lines. Be especially vigilant with children and pets,” DTE said.

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The next storm update from DTE will be 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

Customers should stay at least 20 feet away from all power lines and anything they’re in contact with and consider them live. DTE says to treat every downed power line as if it was energized.

Storm tips:  

  • Never drive across a downed power line. If a power line falls on your vehicle, remain inside until help arrives.
  • Always operate generators outdoors to avoid dangerous buildup of toxic fumes.
  • Don’t open refrigerators or freezers more often than absolutely necessary. A closed refrigerator will stay cold for 12 hours. Kept closed, a well-filled freezer will preserve food for two days.
  • Turn off or unplug all appliances to prevent an electrical overload when power is restored. Leave on one light switch to indicate when power is restored.
  • If a customer is elderly or has a medical condition that would be adversely impacted by a power outage, they should try to make alternative accommodations with family or friends.
  • During low-voltage conditions – when lights are dim and television pictures are smaller – shut off motor-driven appliances such as refrigerators to prevent overheating and possible damage. Sensitive electronic devices also should be unplugged.
  • Stay out of flooded or damp basements or other areas if water is in contact with outlets or any electrically-operated appliance. The water or moisture may serve as a conductor of electricity. This can cause serious or even fatal injury.
  • Assemble an emergency kit. It should include a battery-powered radio, a flashlight and candles, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a fire extinguisher, bottled water, and non-perishable food.
  • Customers who depend on electrically powered medical equipment should ask their physician about an emergency battery back-up system. If a customer is elderly or has a medical condition that would be adversely impacted by a power outage, they should develop an emergency plan that allows for alternative accommodations with family or friends.
  • Keep a corded or cell phone on hand because a cordless telephone needs electricity to operate. Also, customers should learn how to manually open automated garage doors.
  • Customers who depend on a well for drinking water need to plan ahead on how they will obtain water. Store containers of water for cooking and washing.

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