United Way 2-1-1 assists Metro Detroiters affected by power outage

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Editor's note: This article was originally published by the Macomb Daily and The Daily Tribune

DTE expected to restore power to 200,000 more Metro Detroit customers on day-three of outages following record windstorms, but about 300,000 of the utility’s customers were still without late Friday.

This will bring the total amount of customers restored to 600,000, which is 75 percent of those that lost power following Wednesday’s wind storms.

“(505,000) customers have been restored as of Friday afternoon,” said DTE President Jerry Norcia.

“We prioritize from largest amount of customers out on one circuit to the smallest.”

As of 4 p.m. Friday, 295,000 customers were without power, down from 340,000 earlier in the day. Power for a total of 800,000 customers across the state was knocked out at the highest point, officials said.

By Sunday evening, DTE expects to have power restored to the majority, 90 percent, of its customers.

In Oakland County, about half of the 200,000 customers that lost power have been restored.

“Most counties across the board have about half restored and half without power at this point,” said DTE spokesperson Carly Getz.

Initial outage numbers county-by-county include Macomb, at 80,000; Oakland, with 200,000 and Wayne, with 300,000.

This was the most significant weather event DTE Energy has experienced in its more than 100-year history.

Some of the hardest hit areas in Metro Detroit include South Lyon; Royal Oak; Rochester; Rochester Hills; Clawson; Sterling Heights; Harrison Township and many communities Downriver, including Taylor and Trenton.

WARMING CENTERS

“DTE’s first priority is safety,” said Norcia.

“We are concerned with our customers’ safety as the temperatures drop. We’ve identified more than 70 warming centers across the state. We are asking them what resources they need like water and blankets.”

Those without power looking for a warm place to sleep can head over to DTE’s warming center website, empoweringmichigan.com, for a list of Metro Detroit warming centers.

There are currently 25 warming center locations listed, with more to be added. Most will be open until Sunday night, 24 hours a day.

Accuweather showed temperatures dipping down to 11 degrees overnight Friday.

A few warming centers include The Novi Civic Center, The Costick Center in Farmington Hills, The Salter Community Center in Royal Oak, The Rochester Hills Fire Department and Coleman A. Young Recreation Center in Detroit.

More warming centers can be found at michiganassociationofunited.app.box.com/v/DTEwarmingcenters.

The American Red Cross is currently searching for people that want to volunteer at warming centers; 70 have been identified statewide. “Our operators stand ready to assist you,” said Dr. Herman Gray, president and CEO, United Way of Michigan.

“We will be overstaffed to make sure every call will be answered. We are answering our phones 95 percent of the time in 90 seconds or less.”