42,000 celebrate Christmas without power after weekend ice storm - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

42,000 DTE customers celebrate Christmas without power after weekend ice storm

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OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. (WJBK) -

As of 9 p.m. Tuesday (Christmas Eve) approximately 42,000 customers throughout DTE Energy's Southeast Michigan service are still without power after the ice storm hit the region Saturday night.

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to hear from some of those residents in a report from Fox 2's Randy Wimbley

DTE estimates the vast majority of customers impacted will be restored sometime Wednesday as crews continue to work 16-hour shifts around the clock.
The majority of the power outages are in Oakland and Lapeer counties.

DTE is working with the American Red Cross to provide a warming shelter, food, blankets and water to customers in Lapeer County, one of the hardest hit areas. The Red Cross asks customers seeking assistance to contact their Disaster Relief Team at 810-348-3653.

DTE crews are mustering at Lapeer high schools to ensure efficient restoration for customers in the hardest hit areas of Lapeer and northern Oakland counties. Additional crews also are stationed in Howell to assist with restoration in Livingston County.

Hundreds of DTE employees and contractors will continue working 16-hour shifts around the clock throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to restore power to our customers. About 500 linemen from utilities in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio are assisting with restoration efforts. In addition, more than 400 tree trimmers are helping to clear lines.

Ice storms differ from thunderstorms because the damage from ice often continues for several days. A quarter of an inch of ice is the equivalent of 500 pounds of weight on a span of power line. In some areas, as much as three-quarters of an inch has been found on DTE Energy power lines.

DTE Energy cautions its customers to accurately report their outages and/or downed power lines. Accurate reporting is crucial for DTE to respond with the correct resources. Incorrect reporting slows the restoration process.

Customers can report an outage, check on the status of an outage, and view our outage map, all from their smart phones. Customers also may call DTE Energy at (800) 477-4747 to report power outages or downed lines

To get the latest on when power may be restored and to see where outages are located, use the DTE Outage map.  GO TO: http://www.dteenergy.com/map/outage.html

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