Throughout the day Wednesday wind gusts equating to tropical storm levels, just shy of category one hurricane strength, moved across Michigan. As a result, thousands of trees were uprooted, 800,000 customers were impacted and 4,000 power wires went down. These hurricane-like winds caused the largest weather event in DTE’s history.
While our crews are working hard to turn power back on, the extent of the damage is extensive and unprecedented. To help our crews expedite the restoration work, additional support teams from five surrounding states – Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, New York and Pennsylvania – are arriving this morning.
In total, more than 2,700 lineworkers, tree trimmers, public safety employees and DTE personnel are working to restore power, respond to customer needs, keep residents safe from downed wires and partnering with cities, municipalities and human service organizations to help residents and community members stay safe and warm during the restoration process.
The safety of customers and residents is our main concern and top priority as we continue to work to restore power. Remember:
- Stay at least 20 feet away from downed power lines, always consider them energized
- Do not cross the Yellow Caution Tape when you come across it
- 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
As temperatures are expected to drop into the teen’s this evening, DTE Energy is working with local municipalities, human resource agencies, city governments, United Way and the American Red Cross to set up Warming Centers for families and customers to stay warm and safe in Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. We have identified 27 warming locations for people to seek shelter and warmth during the restoration process.
DTE will help to provide volunteers, food, water and blankets at these locations. Some locations will have transportation assistance for seniors and others.
Remember to check on elderly and vulnerable seniors, those with disabilities or medical needs, and anyone else who may need assistance to ensure everyone is safe and sound.
For those with medical needs:
- Call United Way’s 2-1-1 crisis hotline, which will help you find local resources, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Call 9-1-1 if it is urgent or life-threatening
Protect your home
As temperatures drop, there are a few things to remember to protect your home, valuables and possession, be sure to:
- Unplug important electronics and necessary devices to prevent damages as power comes back
- Keep faucets dripping or running to prevent pipe bursts
- Stay away from fallen trees as wires may not be visible and are considered highly dangerous
- Move cars or motorized vehicles away from any trees or areas that may cause potential damage
- Reach out to friends for alternative accommodations for any pets, reptiles or fish tanks
- Don’t open refrigerators or freezers more than absolutely necessary. A closed refrigerator will stay cold for 12 hours. Kept closed, a well-filled freezer will preserve food for two days.
Visit dteenergy.com to see an updated outage map, report a problem or check status.Generator safey