Saturday, September 6, 2014

10th worst storm in DTE history

For those of my readers who have been wondering why I didn't update for more than 24 hours this early in the month,* I couldn't.  The power was out for more than 12 hours.  The Detroit Free Press has the story in DTE calls storm '10th most impactful' in 111 years; 350K without power.
Calling Friday night’s damaging weather “one of the strongest storms to hit southeast Michigan this year, DTE Energy said 350,000 customers remain without power today.

About 375,000 DTE Energy customers lost electric service Friday night, the company said in a news release late this morning. Winds of 75 m.p.h. hit some areas while winds of 60-70 m.p.h. were found throughout the region.

“This is the 10th most impactful storm in the company’s 111-year history. DTE has enlisted the help of 600 linemen from utilities in Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New York and Tennessee to assist the restoration effort,” the release said, noting that wind gusts had downed more than 2,000 power lines.
My wife and I lost power last night at 3:00 AM, when the lights flickered, went off, came back on again a few seconds later, stayed on for a minute, then went off again, this time for good.  Given the circumstances and late hour, we went to bed.  We woke up to no power.

Follow over the jump for more from the Free Press as well as videos from WXYZ along with the rest of our personal experience.

First, the expectations of when service would be restored didn't look good.
DTE said power should be restored to most customers by late Monday, but some customers will likely remain without power until Tuesday or Wednesday.
When we checked the DTE site for our outage area, it said that we should expect it back by 11:30 P.M. tonight.  Instead, the power came back on about 3:00 P.M.  Given what could have happened, my wife and I were lucky to get power back when the sun was still up.

How widespread was the outage?
Wayne County was the hardest hit county for DTE in the area, with 180,000 customers losing power.

Other area counties with significant numbers of outages, included Oakland (70,000), Macomb (30,000), Washtenaw (30,000), Livingston (15,000), Monroe (5,000), St. Clair (3,000), Ingham (3,000), Lapeer (2,000), and Sanilac (2,000).
An earlier Free Press story, Power outages surpass 400,000 after storms sweep through Michigan, described other damage.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Sara Schultz said the service has received multiple reports of damage across southeast Michigan.

“We had 50 to 70 mph winds come through, causing numerous trees down, large limbs down, power lines, and lots of people without power,” she said.

In Detroit, large limbs and wires were reported down at I-94 and Moross. Large limbs are blocking the road at 11 Mile and Hoover in Warren. Trained spotters reported multiple limbs blocking roads in Royal Oak, as well.
This is one of the reasons why I found the timing of our outage surprising.  It came well after the worst weather had passed.  I suppose it wasn't directly related to the storm damage, but to some other part of the system shutting down in response.  I guess that's why our part of the grid came back up early.

With this much wind, there were a lot of spectacular scenes for local television to show.  WXYZ featured several, beginning with Man electrocuted in Warren.

Next, Storm damage in Dearborn Heights.

WXYZ came back in the morning to report on the clean up in Tents Collapse - Sep6.

I'm glad to see everyone pitching in to get the festival running again.  I also shouldn't be surprised.  Americans demand their entertainment, especially if it's also a fund-raiser for what they consider to be a good cause.

*Intervals of 24 hours or more between entries during the last week of the month are not unusual here.  That's because I've reached my readership goals for the month and am just coasting along at one entry per day.  Should you see that happen this month, you'll know why.

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