“A half an inch of radial ice, so that’s ice covering, say, a wire, is the equivalent of having a baby grand piano on that single span of wire,” said DTE Executive Vice President Matt Paul in a WDIV article. “So the weight is significant for our system. We normally don’t see this kind of ice accumulation, so that’s the concern.
On some cables in Metro Detroit, approximately half an inch of ice landed. As the ice forms, the enormous weight can cause a great deal of damage, and according to DTE, there has been a significant amount of build-up.
Up to Thursday, February 23, counties in Metro Detroit are either under a winter storm warning, an ice storm warning, or a winter weather advisory. The winter storm could cause power outages.
As of 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, more than 500,000 customers are out of power due to the wintery mix of sleet, ice, snow and wind that swept through southeast Michigan yesterday and today. DTE Energy has restored power to more than 100,000 customers since the start of the storm, according to a media update.
As temperatures drop throughout the night and into Friday morning, more icing, falling trees, and additional power outages are possible.
The weather system caused severe damage to our infrastructure including nearly 4,000 reported downed wires. We encourage you – our media partners – to continue to communicate these important safety messages to help keep viewers/listeners safe:
- Please stay indoors if possible — but if you do need to be outside, beware of downed power lines. Stay at least one bus length (25 feet) away from downed lines. Don’t touch anything a fallen wire may be in contact with. Always consider a downed power line live and dangerous.
- Heed the warning of yellow caution tape, which indicates there is a downed power line in the area. DO NOT CROSS YELLOW CAUTION TAPE.
- Never use a portable generator inside a home or business. It emits carbon monoxide, which can be deadly. Keep it outside, away from windows and doors, so the fumes won’t come in.
Customer Outage or Hazard Reporting
Customers should report a power outage or downed wire to DTE immediately through the DTE app or website, or by calling or 800-477-4747.
- DTE’s storm response team, including 1,500 lineworkers, 250 wiredown response employees, and 400 out-of-state crews will be in the field until all customers are restored.
- We estimate 95% of customers will be restored by the end of the day, Sunday, Feb. 26. Restoration estimates are available on the DTE Energy Outage Map.
Power interruptions are difficult for customers, that’s why DTE is investing in a more resilient grid. DTE recently announced it is investing an additional $90 million to combat extreme weather-related power outages by removing trees and trimming trees from power lines. Trees are responsible for most
power outages during high-wind events. In areas where tree trimming has been completed, communities have experienced, on average, 60% fewer outages. The investment will not impact customers’ bills.
DTE is investing nearly $1 billion a year in electric infrastructure upgrades. These projects include replacing power poles and overhead equipment, building new substations and upgrading existing substations, and trimming trees away from power lines.
Consumers Energy also has its fair share of power outages and they are beginning the restoration process following the winter storm.
Consumers Energy is Michigan’s largest energy provider, providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.8 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
“Now that the ice and freezing rain have largely passed, we’ve got boots fully on the ground assessing damage and determining where and when to send our crews,” said Norm Kapala, one of Consumers Energy’s Officers in Charge for the event. “Our focus continues to be restoring power as quickly as possible, and we’re doing everything we can to ensure our customers and our crews stay safe during this process.”
Consumers Energy spent the days leading up to the storm fully preparing, and damage assessments so far have been largely within expectations. Though restoration work has begun, the energy provider continues to monitor weather reports, including projections of higher winds. Restoration times may vary depending on safety conditions.
Customers can report an outage and check the status of outage by visiting www.ConsumersEnergy.com/OutageCenter. They can also sign up to get outage alerts and restoration times sent to a phone, email or text message, Text ‘REG’ to 232273 or visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/alerts.
Customers can also sign up to get outage alerts and restoration times sent to a phone, email or text message, Text ‘REG’ to 232273 or visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/alerts.