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DTE prepares for freezing rain, ice, potential power outages in Metro Detroit

DETROIT – Officials with DTE Energy announced the company is preparing for inclement weather Tuesday night and Wednesday morning that could lead to downed power lines and tree-related power outages.

Metro Detroit is under a winter weather advisory from 1 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday for dangerous driving and tricky travel. Freezing rain and sleet are likely after 2 a.m. with our North Zone seeing some snow and sleet mixing in too.

Temperatures will be in the upper 20s as rain moves in overnight freezing on contact with the ground. The Local 4Casters say may see some areas getting 0.10 inches of ice, while others may see 0.25 inches of freezing rain or ice which will be nasty to drive in and could also cause power outages around SE Lower Michigan and Southern Ontario.

DTE said it has more than 2,500 employees and contractors, including line workers, tree-trimming professionals, and out-of-state crews are on standby and will be dedicated to restoration efforts if needed.

"Because safety is of highest priority, a team of those employees will focus solely on clearing safety hazards, such as downed power lines. Crews will be working 16-hour shifts around the clock until all customers are restored," reads a statement from DTE.

You can check the DTE outage map here.

DTE offers these storm tips:

  • 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. 
  • Don’t open refrigerators or freezers more often than absolutely necessary. A closed refrigerator will stay cold for 12 hours. Kept closed, a well-filled freezer will preserve food for two days.  
  • Turn off or unplug all appliances to prevent an electrical overload when power is restored. Leave on one light switch to indicate when power is restored. 
  • 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.
  • During low-voltage conditions – when lights are dim and television pictures are smaller – shut off motor-driven appliances such as refrigerators to prevent overheating and possible damage. Sensitive electronic devices also should be unplugged. 
  • Stay out of flooded or damp basements or other areas if water is in contact with outlets or any electrically-operated appliance. The water or moisture may serve as a conductor of electricity. This can cause serious or even fatal injury. 
  • Assemble an emergency kit. It should include a battery-powered radio, a flashlight and candles, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a fire extinguisher, bottled water and non-perishable food.
  • Customers who depend on electrically powered medical equipment should ask their physician about an emergency battery back-up system. If a customer is elderly or has a medical condition that would be adversely impacted by a power outage, they should develop an emergency plan that allows for alternative accommodations with family or friends. 
  • Keep a corded or cell phone on hand because a cordless telephone needs electricity to operate. Also, customers should learn how to manually open automated garage doors. 
  • Customers who depend on a well for drinking water need to plan ahead on how they will obtain water. Store containers of water for cooking and washing.   

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