DTE Energy is updating power outages, recovery times and hardest hit areas in Metro Detroit

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 power

According to Trevor Lauer, the president and COO of DTE Electric, approximately 209,000 DTE Energy customers were without power around 7:30 a.m. Saturday (March 4).

He said 250 trucks are being sent out to work on restoration.

“We’ve got about 130,000 of those customers — we call it ‘crews’ or ‘trucks’ — this morning to start the recovery process,” Lauer said. “We will also have damage assessment teams in the field, trying to understand the extent of the damage and how to get everyone back as quickly as possible.”

Restoration timeline comes in the afternoon

Lauer said DTE cannot give customers accurate recovery times until the crew has had a chance to assess the damage.

“Recovery timeline — I’ll provide an update on that this afternoon,” Lauer said. “We need to assess the damage and understand exactly what happened.”

Heavy snowfall and strong winds caused many trees and branches to fall over. Lauer said many of the trees and branches that didn’t quite fall during last week’s ice storm finally came down Friday night.

“I imagine many of the customers who lost power before could lose it again,” Lauer said. “But we’ll have a much better assessment of that at lunch today.”

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

Frustration focused on business, not crews

Lauer said several times that he understands customers are frustrated by the outages.

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

He said crews have been working 16 hours on and eight hours off during the recovery efforts over the past 10 days. The company tries to keep its spirits up as the workers grow tired from the long hours.

“What customers can do is support the 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 in the field who are trying to do the work are trying to turn their lights back on as soon as possible. So I understand the frustration directed at me, directed at the company, but not at the people trying to help you.

DTE lost some crews that had to return to Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee. Those states were also badly hit by the storm, Lauer said.

The hardest hit areas

Lauer said the highest winds were within a band that cut just southeast of the DTE Energy service area.

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

“I’ll get a better idea of ​​that this afternoon as we delve into the restoration,” Lauer said.

Engineers are poring over the storm data to figure out which locations to prioritize shipping and how the company can get everyone powered up as quickly as possible, Lauer said.

You can watch the full interview with Lauer below.

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