DTE lineman, contractors brave pre-Christmas winter snowstorm in Metro Detroit

‘We try and do our best for same-day working and all of that stuff’

The pre-Christmas winter storm was unusual for residents in Michigan because of the cold temperatures and the wind.

Single digits, high wind, and snow are tough to get around in, but having to work in it is even more challenging.

For much of the day, Local 4 had a front-row seat as we watched 10 truck fulls of line repair crews repair a downed wire. They weren’t allowed to speak on camera, so updates on how they dealt with the weather weren’t possible, but they were tough.

When a snow plow drove by to create passable roads, crews knew its tedious work, but at least the drivers were warm.

DTE lineman and contractors spent the day repairing a downed wire outside a Novi orthodontics office, doing things like riding up and down in buckets and resetting circuit breakers with a long pole.

They did so without retreating to their warm vehicles every few minutes, leaving no doubt that they were earning every penny they made over the holiday weekend.

Also included with the line repair guys was Liam Gaber, who works for a new Hudson company called the Mower Doctor. He is a small engine repair guy who had nine scheduled house calls to repair snow blowers on Friday (Dec. 23).

“It’s cold, trying to get as many stops as I can,” said Gaber. “Whoever calls, we try and be there the best we can. We try and do our best for same-day working and all of that stuff.”

Local 4 found Gaber in Novi fixing a new snow blower that wasn’t starting, and the auger wasn’t working properly when he started it.

“It’s hard to do it,” Gaber said. “My hands are cold, and they’re freezing. There is a heater in the trailer, so it does make it a little more bearable.”

Gaber told Local 4 the most common problem is bad gasoline that’s clogged the fuel line. Either emptying the tank at the end of the season or using a hardware store gas treatment can prevent having to call him.

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.