Some of the 714,000 customers without power in southern Michigan may not get power until the middle of next week, according to the state’s leading energy suppliers, sparking calls from local leaders for more information about the large number of outages in Metro Detroit. DTE reported that two waves of severe weather had affected 700,000 customers, and that employees had restored power to more than 150,000 by Thursday night.
Officials reported that more than 1,800 DTE employees and 1,000 out-of-state line crews were involved in the restoration operation. “By the end of Saturday,” the company claimed, “we expect to have more than 80% of customers restored.” By the end of Sunday, the vast majority of outages (about 95 percent) should be resolved. The difficulty was exacerbated by strong gusts. DTE is working to restore over 3,100 downed power lines, broken poles, and tree damage.
Late Thursday, about 527,000 customers were without power. More than 850,000 consumers in the state were without electricity at one point. Meanwhile, as of 9:45 p.m. Thursday, Consumers Energy reported approximately 187,000 customers without power. Since the storms began on Tuesday, contractors and personnel from seven states have helped restore electricity to more than 184,000 of the 371,000 people who had been affected.
The company said, “Over 550 three- and four-person crews remain at work around the clock and will work through the night heading into Friday. Their goal: Restore power to most homes and businesses by late Saturday night and finish almost all of their work by the end of the weekend.” Most Consumers Energy customers who were without power were expected to have power restored by Saturday, but some outages might last longer, according to Garrick Rochow, the utility’s president and CEO. The mayor of one town and a state politician have asked DTE to explain the extent of the disruptions.