Wayne County hit hard by April ice storm; 1,000 power lines downed

Tree branches snap under coat of ice

A tree toppled during an ice storm on April 15, 2018 near Middlebelt and Plymouth roads in Livonia. (WDIV)

REDFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - An April ice storm appears to have hit Wayne County harder than other areas in southeastern Michigan. 

DTE Energy reported Sunday about 1,200 power lines came down in the region, of which 1,000 are in Wayne County. 

IMPORTANT: What to do if you see a downed power line in SE Michigan

"What happens with the ice is it gets on the trees, the tree branches get very heavy, and then they fall on the wires and on the poles," said Trevor Lauer, president and COO at DTE. 

A winter storm hit Metro Detroit on April 15, 2018. (WDIV)

A winter storm hit Metro Detroit on April 15, 2018. (WDIV)

A winter storm hit Metro Detroit on April 15, 2018. (WDIV)

A winter storm hit Metro Detroit on April 15, 2018. (WDIV)

As of Monday morning, DTE reported 250,000 customers remained without power. Overall, the utility company reported more than 370,000 customers were affected by the storm. 

DTE expects 90 percent of customers impacted by the weather will have power restored by the end of the day Tuesday. Customers will receive a more detailed estimate once a crew has been assigned to their outage, DTE said. 

Flooding in Redford Township

Residents in Redford Township reported flooded basements in addition to the power outages. These photos are from a yard on West Chicago near Beech Daly Road: 

Flooding along West Chicago in Redford Township on April 16, 2018. (WDIV)

Flooding along West Chicago in Redford Township on April 16, 2018. (WDIV)

Residents in that neighborhood lost power Sunday morning. Many remained without power Monday. 

The 17th District Court in Redford Township is closed Monday due to the power outage. The Redford Township phone lines were down, but they have been restored.

Hundreds of homeowners in Livonia were without power much of Sunday, too. Tree branches littered neighborhood streets on the city's east side. 

How to contact DTE

Customers have three ways to contact DTE when they lose power or see a downed power line:

  1. Call 800-477-4747
  2. Visit DTE’s website at dteenergy.com
  3. Access the DTE Energy Mobile App from your smart phone or tablet. The app is available free of charge from the Apple Store or Google Play. Additional information is available through the online Power Outage Map at www.dteenergy.com/outage.

DTE offers these storm power outage tips:   

  • 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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