A majority of those who lost power in Wednesday's windstorm are back on line. Still, there is a long way to go to full restoration.
Consumers Energy reports that it has restored power to roughly 200,000 of its customers. Work continues to get electricity back for the other 90,000. There were about 800,000 DTE Energy customers left in the dark, and without heat, after the windstorm. The utility reports that, as of 5am Saturday, 557,000 are back on line. Consumers Energy says it will have power fully restored sometime Sunday. DTE Energy says it will power restored to 90-percent of its customers by Sunday evening. Full restoration will take into early next week.
Here is the latest update from DTE Energy:
DTE Energy Storm Update
Saturday, March 11, 2017 5 a.m.
Crews continue to make progress as cold temps set in
DTE Energy crews continued working through the night to restore power to approximately 243,000 customers impacted by the wind storm that blew through our service territory on Wednesday. As of 5 a.m. Saturday, more than 557,000 of the 800,000 customers impacted have had their power returned. DTE expects to have roughly 90 percent of customers restored by Sunday evening.
We recognize this event is difficult for customers and ask for your ongoing patience, as restoration teams are still working around the clock to restore power to all customers. As work is complete in one area, crews will move to the next and call customers with restoration estimates, and repair damage in their area.
Yesterday afternoon, while DTE Energy line crews and crews from out of state were restoring electricity to those who lost power, DTE Gas employees focused in on the hardest hit area in Detroit and began checking in on senior customers and those with known medical issues who have lost power as a result of the historic outage.
DTE Energy's first priority is safety, and that includes the safety of our customers as the temperatures drop. We are working with community, municipal partners, religious organizations, and the Red Cross and have identified more than 70 warming centers across the state for customers affected by s unprecedented wind storm. Those without power can access an interactive map to locate a local warming center on empoweringmichigan.com.
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, seven days a week
•Call 9-1-1 if it is urgent or life-threatening
Now that cold temperatures have set in, here are some tips to protect your home:
•Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
•All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
•Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
•Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
To drain pipes:
•Locate your home's main water shut-off valve. Turn to the off position. Turn on every water fixture in the house until the water stops running.
•Open all faucets and flush all toilets in the house, starting with the top floor and working your way down.
Wednesday's high winds caused extensive tree damage, resulting in more than 9,000 reported downed power lines. Due to the unusually warm weather this winter, as well as significant rainfall, the ground is very soft and saturated. That, combined with the high winds, caused trees to uproot, falling onto DTE's poles and power lines.
Safety is always a priority. Customers should stay at least 20 feet away from all power lines and anything they may contact, and consider them live. They are extremely dangerous. Treat every downed power line as if it is energized. Customers should also heed the warning of yellow caution tape, which indicates there is a downed power line in the area. DO NOT CROSS YELLOW CAUTION TAPE.
Customers can report an outage, check on the status of an outage and view an outage map from their smart phones using the DTE Energy Mobile App, which is available free of charge from the Apple Store or Google Play. Customers can also call DTE at 800.477.4747 to report power outages or downed lines.