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DTE and Consumers expect to have all power restored by Sunday night

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio

Both DTE-Energy and Consumers Energy say it will be the end of the weekend before everyone’s power is restored.

“We've restored well over 230,000 customers are on a great pace today to 100,000 customers as well, which sets us up really well for this weekend and restoring our customers here by the weekend,” said Garrick Rochow, President and CEO of Consumers.

Rochow says the frequency and severity of storms this year is challenging the infrastructure. The wet ground and strong winds have meant huge trees have fallen and caused havoc with power lines.

Much of the recent storm damage happened Wednesday night, but a storm system hit Branch and Hillsdale counties hard at about 6:00 a.m. Thursday.

Damage was widespread, but some areas were hit especially hard.

“I was in an area this morning out in the field that had 30 broken utility poles, that was just a twisted mess and we had 60 people just working on one site to try to get it back up,” said Trevor Lauer, President and COO of DTE Electric.

Lauer says DTE also expects his crews will have the lights on for everyone by late on Sunday with the bulk of customers with power on Saturday.

Both utility managers say the more intense storms of recent years are requiring them to use larger diameter utility poles and stronger fasteners to keep the wires in the air.

They both noted they appreciate the patience of the customers and were very grateful for all the work the utility crews are doing to get the power back on for everyone.

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Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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