DTE Energy: 'This is the largest weather event in DTE history'

More than 800,000 customers affected by power outage

DTE Energy power outages have impacted more than 800,000 customers in Southeast Michigan, making Wednesday's wind storm the largest weather event in DTE history.

The outages are widespread throughout the region. However, Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties were hit the hardest, DTE said. On Wednesday night, Consumers Energy and DTE were reporting a combined 860,000 customers across Michigan were without power.

Wind gusts stronger than 60 mph caused extensive tree damage, resulting in more than 3,000 downed power lines so far, DTE said.

DTE power outage: Wind storm causes 2nd largest outage in company's history

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, resulting in widespread outages, DTE said.

READ: Why are high winds knocking over so many trees in Metro Detroit?

Storm tips from DTE

  • Never drive across a downed power line. If a power line falls on your vehicle, remain inside until help arrives.
  • Always operate generators outdoors to avoid dangerous buildup of toxic fumes.
  • Turn off or unplug all appliances to prevent an electrical overload when power is restored. Leave one light switch on to indicate when power is restored.
  • Don’t open refrigerators or freezers more than absolutely necessary. A closed refrigerator will stay cold for 12 hours. Kept closed, a well-filled freezer will preserve food for two days.
  • If a customer is elderly or has a medical condition that would be adversely impacted by a power outage, they should try to make alternative accommodations with family or friends.

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Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.