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High winds wipe out power overnight



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November 06, 2013 - A power outage caused by heavy winds left some customers in the dark last Thursday night and into Friday morning.

Areas of both Springfield and Independence Townships were affected.

In Springfield Township about 2,000 customers lost power. Clarkston residents were a little luckier with only pockets of areas affected.

A DTE Energy power outage map showed many subdivisions off Dixie Highway with 99 or less customers affected. Off Sashabaw Road about 100 customers near independence Oaks also lost electrical juice, as did some residents off Maybee Road.

Numerous individual outages were reported.

Erica Donerson spokeswoman for DTE Energy said Oakland and Wayne County were most affected by power outages.

Meteorologist Heather Orow from the National Weather Service in White Lake said a low pressure system swept through the area after a cold front tracked through the Great Lakes region bringing in high winds.

The strongest winds, recorded at the closest weather monitoring system located at the Pontiac Airport, recorded the highest wind gusts at 48 miles per hour around 2 a.m. Thursday.

"It was windy," said Orow. "Our highest gusts were recorded at 35 miles per hour."

Orow after the winds reseeded the rest of the day was calm. "Although it was cooler," she said. "It dropped from 60 degrees on Thursday to 48 degrees on Friday."

Donerson said windy conditions are often the culprit of power outages. After Thursday and Friday outages, the DTE crews worked throughout the day to restore power, she said adding that all of the outages were to be fixed that day.

Donerson said DTE can tell when a customers power goes out.

"We have a few ways we can tell when the power goes out. Many times our customers will call our 1-800-477-4747 number and that is always helpful," she said. "We also have an advanced metering program that we receive signals from and that's why Smart Metering program is so effective."

Donerson said when outages are recorded, DTE has a highly skilled team that works to decide where to send crews. Crews will usually respond to areas with the highest number of outages.

"We mobilize our crews 24 hours a day seven days a week," she said. "We always work around the clock to restore power when the power goes out."

Donerson added high winds can down trees and snap power lines, and if you see one to be cautious and stay away.

"If you ever see a downed power lines stay 20 feet away from the wire and anything touching it especially a metal fence," she said.

Donerson added people should always assume a power line is live and electrified. If you spot a downed power line call 9-1-1 and DTE Energy to report the problem.

An outage map can be found online to give customers updates about outages by visiting www.dteenergy.com

Staff writer
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