DTE Outage Affects 3,000 in Ann Arbor

Workers from Indiana to help restore power

As of 8:45 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 28, DTE media relations said that around 3,000 households in the city of Ann Arbor were out of power, due to damage from high winds. Based on the PDF map file that is updated every 30 minutes, the majority of households out of power are located east of Main Street generally in the 48104 zipcode.

In the whole DTE region, the utility said around 700 workers are on the job restoring power and that by tomorrow an additional 300 workers from Indiana would arrive, putting over 1,000 people on task. DTE indicated that there would be no incompatibilities of equipment that would cause crews from Indiana to experience delays in deployment. They would “hit the ground running.”

Work is focused on circuits serving the highest number of households. A single circuit can serve anywhere from 50 to over 1,000 households. Circuits do not necessarily align perfectly with geographic areas.

We will update information on estimated times for restoration of power as it becomes available. Check also Ed Vielmetti’s site for possible updates.

Update (Sunday, Dec. 28, 10:21 p.m.): According to DTE spokesman Scott Simons, 90% of DTE customers currently without power are expected to have service restored by late Wednesday, with the remaining 10% to be restored by Thursday. According to Simons there would be no further updates until 6:00 a.m. Monday morning.

Reached by phone, neither Ann Arbor Police command nor Washtenaw County’s chapter of the American Red Cross had any information about possible locations set up as emergency shelters for those without power.

Update (Monday, Dec. 29, 7:05 a.m.): According to DTE media relations, all but 23 customers in Ann Arbor have had their power restored. In Ypsilanti, one customer is still without power, and in Ypsilanti Township, 15 are still waiting for power. Revised estimate for 90% restoration is late Tuesday, Dec. 30. DTE says that the PDF map file data lag somewhat behind the freshest numbers available to them.

Update (Monday, Dec. 29, 9:08 a.m.): Based on the number of people without power we’d heard from in Ann Arbor who are still without power, we viewed the report of 23 in the city of Ann Arbor with some skepticism.  A follow up phone call confirmed that the skepticism was warranted. Still without power are 3300 Ann Arborites and 400 Ypsilantians.  Numbers for Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti townships are 250 and 470, respectively.

Section: Environment

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  1. By Matt
    December 28, 2008 at 10:06 pm | permalink

    Thanks Dave. What sort of options are available for people without power in this weather?

    I would add that there also are local ATT wireless issues apparently caused by outages at a Bloomfield facility:

    “At about 9:30 a.m. CST on Dec. 28, a power failure impacted an AT&T facility in Bloomfield, MI. This situation has resulted in intermittent disruption of mobile services for customers in some Midwest states. Backup power has subsequently been restored, and AT&T technicians currently are working to fully restore the impacted equipment. We will provide more information as soon as it becomes available.”

    Source: Chicago Breaking News, http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2008/12/att-wireless-outage-in-chicagoland.html

  2. By Dave Askins
    December 28, 2008 at 10:38 pm | permalink

    Matt asked: “What sort of options are available for people without power in this weather?”

    The update above provides no real alternatives in the way of a warming center or the like.

    I expect that the kindness of friends, family, and strangers, or else backup generators, will come into play. Two days without power this time of year is no cake walk.

  3. By Matt
    December 28, 2008 at 11:44 pm | permalink

    Do you know if Red Cross is out? I’d assume so.

    Does the City do anything in this kind of situation? The only somewhat related note in the News section of their website is a PDF that advertises “CTN Airing Public Service Announcements for Energy Bill Assistance”

  4. By Matt
    December 28, 2008 at 11:45 pm | permalink

    Duh, re-read last paragraph about Red Cross and Washtenaw Co. That’s what I get for not seeing the update. Thanks for the additional reporting.

  5. By Ben Calhoun
    December 29, 2008 at 8:55 am | permalink

    I am in Ann Arbor and still don’t have power at 9 am on Monday!
    Thanks DTE for forgetting about me and my pets.
    You won’t even answer the phone!

  6. By Dave Askins
    December 29, 2008 at 9:25 am | permalink

    We’d heard from two Ann Arbor households without power this morning via Twitter. Ben’s comment [5] brought the total to three households out of DTE’s early morning count of 23 who were without power in Ann Arbor. Based on that, we followed up with DTE, which apologized for the earlier erroneous counts. Updated above (and elsewhere) is the latest information that we believe is accurate.

  7. By B
    December 29, 2008 at 1:27 pm | permalink

    Still without power at 1:30pm on Monday…what a pain!

  8. December 29, 2008 at 2:19 pm | permalink

    I hate to bring up bad thoughts, and my heart goes out to those without power and I hope the power comes on very very soon. I would be most concerned about pipes bursting if it get extremely cold. Generators would be in order to protect your home or if you have a Prius: http://tinyurl.com/83ep86

  9. By Leah Gunn
    December 29, 2008 at 2:47 pm | permalink

    Once again the “Bermuda Triangle” (see old AU comments) went out, while others around us had power. This is the southwest quadrant of Packard & Stadium. We learned from the ice storm last year and went immediately to a motel. Kensington Court allowed us a late checkout when the lights came on at about 12:30 P.M. today (Monday) and only charged us for one night. I saw no news about anybody helping people, such as opening any schools for shelter or anything.

  10. December 29, 2008 at 3:34 pm | permalink

    I did a little bit of map processing to come up with this:


    showing progress overnight (11pm last night to about 1pm today). Large parts of Washtenaw County have had no visible repair progress per the DTE maps – to be fair, that is in part because they report only very broad bands of outage density so they might have fixed 1000 homes and it wouldn’t be visible to the maps.

  11. By Spencer Thomas
    December 29, 2008 at 6:26 pm | permalink

    Personal observations this afternoon: several blocks west of Packard/State appear to be still without power, including Fingerle Lumber, and the businesses west of Packard from the State intersection north (to Madison?) At least yesterday afternoon, Jimmy John’s at Packard and Hill was making sandwiches in the “dark”, calculating totals on a hand calculator. I presume they weren’t taking credit cards, though.

    Also, south of Ellsworth on Platt, the wind took down at least 6 poles, snapping them off at the base. As I was leaving the dog park at 4:30, a truck with new poles was arriving on site. At about the same time, the wind was peaking about 30mph with gusts to 45. I would not want to be the guy up in the basket at that time!

  12. By Mary Morgan
    December 29, 2008 at 10:10 pm | permalink

    A spokeswoman for the Washtenaw chapter of the American Red Cross emailed us tonight (9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 29) and said that the chapter collaborated with the Salvation Army yesterday and today to provide meals to people without power. She said they’ll “play it by ear, meal by meal” on Tuesday, based on how many people are still without power. The meals are served at the Chidester Place Senior residence on 330 Chidester St. in Ypsilanti and at Avalon Housing, 603 W. Huron St. in Ann Arbor. If necessary, she said meals will also be served in front of the Red Cross chapter from an emergency rescue vehicle. The chapter is located at 4624 Packard Road.

  13. By Matt H
    January 2, 2009 at 3:12 am | permalink

    Michigan Messenger article: “As Wayne County freezes, emergency officials pass the buck”

    “The [Homeland Security] department’s director, James Buford, told Michigan Messenger on Monday that he was on vacation. He acknowledged that that he had not been in touch with DTE Energy about the power outages. He said that he had not directed his department to begin damage assessment activities nor ordered any warming stations opened. Buford also said he did not know how many people were without power.”