Lights Out: Power Still Down for Thousands of Customers in Metro Detroit

Photo courtesy of Consumers Energy


Power is out again for hundreds of thousands of metro Detroit residents who are wondering when they will have electricity again.

Wednesday and Thursday storms in the state — which has some residents still recouping their losses from late June rains — knocked out power for over 600,000 residents, according to a FOX 2 article.

DTE Energy hopes to have electricity up and running for customers by Saturday; other residents can anticipate to see their lights back on at the end of this weekend.

As of 7 a.m. today, DTE had 525,865 people without power, per their outage map, according to the article. Consumers Energy’s outage map says almost 160,000 people – primarily residing in south Michigan – also didn’t have power.

In all, over 371,000 homes and businesses that Consumers Energy serves lost power at some point since Tuesday night, making it one of the 10 most significant storms in company history, according to a press release.

“Around 2,000 lineworkers are fanning out across Michigan today – we are serious when we say we’re committed to getting the lights back on for the communities we serve quickly and safely,” said Guy Packard, Consumers Energy’s vice president for electric operations. “We are grateful for our customers’ patience and want them to know we’re putting in an all-out effort until the power is back on for everyone.”

DTE CEO Jerry Norcia said recent power outages are linked to an increase in high wind events. The company has made an effort to invest in the grid and tree trimming, he said in the article, since putting powerlines underground would be exponentially more expensive.

“We’ve actually looked at what it would take to go back and retrofit a community and bury everything and we looked at a community of about 14,000 customers and the costs were astronomical, $500 to $700 billion dollars,” Norcia said in the article. “What we found was if we spend $250,000 on aggressive tree trimming, we get the same reliability result.” It’s not just high wind events that are causing carnage in Michigan’s electrical grid.

The region is also facing a lot more rain than previously, according to the article.

Consumers Energy tips during a power outage:

  • Be alert to crews working along roads. Drivers should slow down or stop and wait for oncoming traffic to clear so they safely can go past workers on roadsides.
  • Call 2-1-1 to connect with resources that offer assistance in your community, such as cooling centers or other needs. 2-1-1 is a free statewide service.
  • Never use a generator in an attached garage, basement, enclosed patio or near any air intakes. Doing so could cause a generator to produce hazardous levels of carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and deadly gas.
  • Be aware of possible downed wires.
  • Read the full story here.

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