Storm restoration update: April 17, 2018 5:30 a.m.

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As of 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 17, DTE Energy has restored power to more than 245,000 customers impacted by the ice storm that hit Southeast Michigan Sunday. The storm impacted a total of 390,000 customers.

More than 60 percent of customers have been restored, and the DTE team has mapped out a plan to restore the remaining 145,000 customers without power. Customers can use the DTE Energy mobile app, or visit dteenergy.com, to get a restoration estimate for their address.

We expect to have 90 percent of total customers impacted restored by they end of the day, along with most schools that remain without power.

DTE will have over 1,000 workers in the field helping to restore customers today, along with an expected 600 workers from five other states – Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

Keeping our customers safe as we work to restore power is our number one priority. We are asking everyone in our community to check on their neighbors and loved ones – especially seniors and those with disabilities or medical needs. Those with medical needs can call United Way’s 2-1-1 crisis hotline to find local services.

We have posts on many of the questions that people have been asking, like how does DTE prioritize restoration, how does ice cause power outages, and why aren’t more power lines buried.

As safety is always a priority, here are some tips to help you stay safe:

  • 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.