Thousands of Metro Detroit residents living without power after ice storm

DTE Energy says 145,000 customers still without power

By Priya Mann - Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

DETROIT - DTE Energy crews have restored power to hundreds of thousands of customers since this weekend's ice storm in Southeast Michigan, but around 145,000 residents still don't have electricity.

Detroit was hit particularly hard during the storm, and thousands of families are in the dark as temperatures continue to plummet.

"If we have to go to the hotel, we can," resident Chris Davis said. "But hopefully they have it up tonight. I have faith. I love them."

The Davis family lives on the west side and lost power around 1 a.m. Monday.

"The whole house was ice, pretty much," Davis said. "We just got dressed, used our cellphones as light."

The family doesn't have a generator, and Davis' wife is anemic. They weren't planning to spend the night at home until utility crews showed up.

"I just told those guys, 'You've never been loved so much,' and so he chuckled," Davis said.

More than 1,000 DTE employees were in the field Monday, and 400 linemen were called in from out of state.

"We are going to get another wave of resources that are going to go out tomorrow morning, as well," Executive Director of Distribution Operations Ryan Stowe said.

DTE officials said more than 2,000 power lines fell across the service area during the storm. Most were the result of branches breaking under the weight of forming ice.

Almost 400,000 customers lost power.

"We know the impact this has for our customers, especially with these near-winter conditions," Stowe said.

In Southfield, resident Karoll Thompson was concerned about a fallen branch smoldering on the power line behind her home.

"I thought it was going to fall on the house and catch (on fire)," Thompson said. "You can hear the zaps."

She said the massive trees have caused outages before, and she's worried it will happen again.

"I want them to come trim, which I've begged since I've lived here (for them) to do," Thompson said.

DTE Energy officials said they assessed the tree last year and determined tree trimming could wait until the regularly scheduled maintenance in the area. Due to the weight of the ice on the line, the request has been escalated, the company said.

Crews expect to have 90 percent of the outage taken care of by Tuesday, and 100 percent restoration on Thursday.

Copyright 2018 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.