Friday, March 10, 2017

Service interruption from worst storm in DTE history


Yesterday was the first day I did not post an entry to this blog since March 29, 2011, almost six full years ago.*  The reason was the largest weather-related power outage in DTE Energy's history.  The Detroit Free Press told the story in High winds cut power to record-setting 1M in Michigan.
DTE Energy is calling it the largest weather event in its history: Gusts over 60 m.p.h. hammered southeast Michigan Wednesday, cutting power to more than 1 million utility customers between the area's two major power companies.
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DTE Energy reports more than 700,000 customers in total were affected by Wednesday's power outages, and Consumers Energy reports more than 300,000 in total affected.
Power went out at my house just before noon on Wednesday and didn't come back on until between five and six in the afternoon Thursday, for about 30 hours of no electricity.  On top of that, I had no service from my internet provider until after 7:00 P.M. today, less than an hour ago.  The outage must have hit their local servers.

As for the cause, blame the weather and changing climate as high winds, rain, and record mild temperatures all played a part.
DTE Energy reports more than 4,000 power lines were pulled down by falling trees from "sustained wind gusts equating to tropical storm levels, just shy of category one hurricane strength."

"Due to the unusually warm weather this winter, as well as significant rainfall, the ground is very soft and saturated. That, combined with the high winds, caused trees to uproot, falling onto DTE's poles and power lines, resulting in widespread outages," according to a DTE Energy news release.
The cause of the high winds baffles me, but the rain and warm winter I can blame on climate change.

Hundreds of thousands of people are still out of power, but service is being restored, as WXYZ reported in DTE working to cut power outages by half tonight.


I may have been inconvenienced, but others are having it much worse.

*I could post more videos of the damage, like I did for 10th worst storm in DTE history, but I'm too tired and not feeling it right now.  Also, I could backdate an entry to fill in the calendar for yesterday, but I've decided I want that missing day to stand as a silent monument to the storm.

4 comments:

  1. We've been having some crazy wind here in Northern NY for a week or so. I can't blame that on climate change?

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    1. Well, you can. I have trouble with doing so because the expected effects of climate change I recall don't include strong winds out of a clear blue sky. Strong winds from more intense rain storms, yes. What we had, no. Those threw me, as they behaved like the Santa Ana winds I thought I left behind when I moved out of southern California.

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