DTE Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson and Gov. Rick Snyder today toured areas hard hit after winds in excess of 60 m.p.h. caused the largest number of outages in the company’s history.
About 400,000 DTE Energy customers remain without power today, but the utility’s leader said electricity could be restored to 200,000 today, and as many as 90% could be back in service by Sunday.
“We’re making good progress,” Anderson said at a news conference outside a Dearborn home where a pine tree was felled and a power pole snapped during the storm, causing outages in the neighborhood near West Outer Drive and Ann Arbor Trail.
Snyder said nearly a third of the state on both peninsulas ended up losing power in the wind storm Wednesday.
Anderson said that as of 7 a.m. today, about half of the company’s 800,000 power outages had been restored to service.
“Our goal today is to get another 200,000 restored, we hope better than that, so that we’d have a couple hundred thousand or less by tonight,” Anderson said.
Anderson said 3,500 people, including 1,400 line workers, half from other states, are out working to restore power, along with 1,000 DTE workers standing guard over downed lines. He urged people to stay away from downed lines and to keep an eye on children to make sure they don’t go near them.
Anderson said DTE has worked with 40 warming centers in southeast Michigan — a list of them is available at DTE’s web site — along with faith-based and senior-services agencies to help people who need help staying warm.
Snyder urged residents to look out for vulnerable people, including the elderly, to make sure they can get through the cold temperatures on tap for the next few days.
“Go check on your neighbors, go check on your family members, make sure they’re OK, and if anyone needs help, call 211,” the governor said. “The temperatures are getting colder. Let’s not take anything for granted.”