WALLED LAKE, Mich. (WXYZ) — DTE Energy said in some of the hardest areas, winds moved between 60 and 70 mph for 10 minutes straight on Monday. So, they said the damage is pretty consistent across their service area.
At the peak of the outages, DTE Energy President Trevor Lauer said 266,000 customers were without power.
“In the northwest area of our service territory, there’s a lot of damage in the Walled Lake area. The Wixom area's got pretty heavy damage. We got damage in the city (of Detroit). We've got damage in the Ann Arbor area,” Lauer said of some of the areas impacted.
Peggy Wilson lives in a neighborhood where the utility lines are buried underground.
“In 26 years, we have never lost power or electricity in this area,” Wilson said.
As of Tuesday evening, she’s been without power for 24 hours after damage done to a power source located elsewhere.
When it comes to prioritizing and planning where to restore power first, Lauer said crews first tackle downed wires. Then, power is restored to healthcare facilities and nursing homes. Next in line are customers who are on medical equipment at home, and then crews restore substations, which affect anywhere from 5,000 and 10,000 people.
He said 1,200 DTE lineman are out working, along with 1,000 contractors and 1,000 first responders and engineers checking into down wires.
“We still expect that 80% of customers will have their power back by the end of the day on Thursday, and we expect 95% by the end of the day on Friday,” Lauer said.
Like the storm, that restoration time frame caught Walled Lake resident Kathy Schiller off guard.
“That’s not good. That’s not good at all,” she said. “We got neighbors that left.”
She said some neighbors left to stay elsewhere. Others are getting by on generators, like the Bakers next door.
“It’s good to be inconvenienced. We’re pretty spoiled people,” Bradley Baker said.
“We all try to help each other out as the neighbors. We’re probably going to have some generators go from house to house,” he said.
His son Evan explained, “We’ve been checking on the neighbors to make sure they’re OK because our neighborhood is mostly older people. So, we just want to make sure they’re OK.”
Wilson said, “I’m going to lose all the meat in my freezer and everything in the refrigerator, and first, I can’t hear you because my hearing aids aren’t powered up.”
“I can charge the phone on my car, but I can’t charge the hearing aids,” she continued.