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Storms leave hundreds of thousands of Michiganders without power

Caution tape that reads "Danger live wire."
DTE Energy
DTE says there are a number of downed power lines throughout their coverage area, and are warning people to heed caution signs.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Michigan are without power Tuesday morning because of severe weather.

Thunderstorms with 70 mile per hour winds knocked tree branches onto electrical wires and caused widespread blackouts.

As of Tuesday morning, Consumers Energy is reporting more than 115,000 customers without power. And DTE Energy says more than 265,000 customers have no electricity.

Joe Musallam oversees operations for DTE. He says most outages were caused by trees falling on power lines and high winds breaking poles.

“The storm system was most intense coming across the state through the Lansing area and then landing into the Webberville, Fowlerville, Brighton, Pinckney, those areas we’re seeing quite a bit of outages,” he says.

More than 10% of DTE’s customers lost power after yesterday’s storms. The outages come as the utility seeks an 8.8% price hike on residential electrical bills.

Musallam says crews are still assessing the severity of the damage.

“I think you’re going to see quite a few people come back in the next couple of days. And then you may have some folks that are out until three, four days,” he says.

DTE offers a $25 credit for customers who lose power for more than 16 hours in non-catastrophic conditions. Because the current blackouts are so widespread, credits will likely only apply to those who lose power for more than 120 hours.

A section of M-14 between Sheldon and Beck Roads in Plymouth Township in Wayne County is closed because of downed power lines on the freeway.

Eli Newman is a Reporter/Producer for 101.9 WDET (part of the MPRN network), covering breaking news, politics and community affairs.
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