DTE Energy updates Detroit Metro power outages, restore times and hardest hit areas

DETROIT – DTE Energy offered an update Saturday morning on another round of power outages caused by the winter storm and efforts to restore power to hundreds of thousands of customers.

209,000 without electricity

By 7:30 a.m. Saturday, March 4, about 209,000 DTE Energy customers were without power, according to Trevor Lauer, president and chief operating officer of DTE Electric.

He said 250 trucks are sent to work on the restoration.

“We have about 130,000 of these customers – we call it ‘crews’ or ‘trucks’ – this morning to begin the restoration process,” Lauer said. “We will also have damage assessment teams on the ground, trying to figure out the level of damage and how we can recover everyone as quickly as possible.”

Catering schedule to come in the afternoon

Lauer said DTE would not be able to give customers specific restoration times until crews had a chance to assess the damage.

“Restoration schedule – I’ll give an update on that this afternoon,” Lauer said. “We need to do the damage assessment and figure out exactly what happened.”

Heavy snowfall and high winds knocked down many trees and branches. Lauer said many of the trees and branches that hadn’t quite fallen in last week’s ice storm finally fell Friday night.

“I imagine a lot of customers who lost power before could have lost it again,” Lauer said. “But we’ll have a much better evaluation at lunchtime today on that.”

Customers who wish to report an outage can do so on the DTE Energy app or by phone at 800-477-4747. However, the company already knows who is without power due to automated meters, Lauer said.

Frustration directed at the company, not the crews

Lauer has repeatedly said he understands customers are frustrated by the outages.

“I’ve heard of several customers who lost power, we got it back two or three days ago, and they’re out of power again,” Lauer said. “We understand how frustrating this is, and it’s not the customer experience we want for our customers.”

He said crews had worked 16 hours on eight hours off during restoration efforts over the past 10 days. The company is trying to keep morale high as workers tire during the long hours.

“What customers can do is support people in the field,” Lauer said. “I understand how frustrating it can be, and they have every right to be frustrated right now. But the people on the ground trying to get the job done are trying to get their lights back on as fast as they can. So, I understand the frustration directed at me, directed at the company, but not at the people trying to help you.

DTE lost out-of-state crews that had to return to Ohio, Indiana, and Tennessee. Those states were also hard hit by the storm, Lauer said.

The most affected areas

Lauer said the highest winds were in a band that cut just southeast of DTE Energy’s service territory.

Currently, Oakland County And Wayne County have the highest number of failures.

“I’ll have a better idea of ​​it all this afternoon as we go deeper into the restoration,” Lauer said.

Engineers are looking at data from the storm to determine which locations should be prioritized for shipping and how the company can restore power to everyone as quickly as possible, according to Lauer.

You can watch the full interview with Lauer below..

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