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DTE working to restore power to remaining customers as bitter cold blankets metro Detroit

Posted at 5:22 PM, Jan 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-15 17:22:39-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Hundreds of DTE linemen have been working to restore power to the last few thousand customers who were left in the cold and dark after power outages over the weekend.

A winter storm brought high winds and heavy wet snow which impacted around 150K customers' power.

DTE says they had over 900 linemen working to fix downed lines and get people back up and running as quickly and safely as possible.

"The weather just got worse each day and today is the worst day of them all," said Lakeisha Smith who lives in Detroit.

Smith says after her power went out Friday, she had to send her 6 kids and pets to stay with family members. Our 7 Action News crew spoke to her as she and her husband were keeping warm in their car.

"We woke up Saturday morning and the power was off and it was freezing in the house. They gave us an estimate about 4 PM but nothing happened that day and we’ve just been freezing," said Smith. "It’s better to be outside than inside. I’ll put it that way."

Arenita Pittman says she and her two kids stayed with friends while their power was out.

"I was crying on the inside. I was trying to be strong for my kids, but I was crying on the inside," said Pittman."This is my first real winter in Michigan so it wasn’t what I was expecting, but I did have a good friend say 'hey, come over.' So we were only stuck in the cold a few hours."

As of 2 PM Monday DTE says their crews were able to restore power to 98% of customers.

A spokesperson for the utility company sent the following statement:

“Extreme winter weather impacted the state over the weekend causing power outages. As of 2 p.m., DTE’s Storm Response Team restored power to 98% of customers impacted by the storm.

We know how hard it is to be without power, particularly in frigid temperatures. The DTE Storm Response Team is working as quickly and safely as possible to restore service for every customer impacted by this winter storm.”

-DTE Energy

Kendall Kuneman says she was ecstatic when her power was restored Monday afternoon but says it was becoming tougher to stay at home with each passing day.

"We’re usually pretty fortunate, knock on wood, but this is a long period for cold temperatures," said Kuneman. "The house this morning when we woke up was 46 degrees so we're getting to a point where we might have to go somewhere else. We're trying to find other places to hang out during the day and evening and then come back and just sleep."