West BloomfieldJuly 16, 2012
DTE: Trees, not infrastructure, to blame for outages
By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer
WEST BLOOMFIELD — Fireworks and rockets may have glared over West Bloomfield on Independence Day, but early July storms that swept over metro Detroit that week kept thousands of people in the dark.
DTE Energy spokesman Len Singer said people in the greater West Bloomfield area were among the estimated 340,000 customers who lost power due to the storms. Roughly 8,000 West Bloomfield residents lost power, and about 1,000 in Keego Harbor, 400 in Orchard Lake and 500 in Sylvan Lake also were also without electricity.
A week later, Singer said “most if not all” customers had regained their service.
“We’re pretty much getting back to normal,” he said.
In the wake of the storms, which felled trees and left branches strewn over yards, West Bloomfield Township Supervisor Michele Economou Ureste said she worked closely with the Fire Department and kept in contact with DTE.
Because of record-breaking heat, the township helped set up ice or cooling stations at Town Hall, two fire stations and the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit. Ureste said DTE offered ice and water to anyone who wanted to escape homes with dormant fans and air conditioning.
“There were a lot of rolling outages on Friday,” she said. “Some of those areas that were restored early also lost power again by the end of the day on Friday. We weren’t sure quite what to expect over the weekend, but we wanted to make the water and ice available. “
Ureste said residents appreciated the ice, and the township now has extra cases of water in reserve for any other power outages that might happen this summer. “Since it’s just the beginning of the summer, we will be ready for the next,” she said.
Ureste noted that this isn’t the first time that power outages have hit West Bloomfield in recent times, and she explained that she plans to schedule a meeting with DTE to discuss a long-term corrective action plan for places that have frequent outages.
She believes that upgrading the township’s transformers might curtail rolling outages. “I think it just depends on how old a lot of the transformers are,” she said. “The area in which I live in had frequent outages, maybe up to 10 a year. And then the transformer was replaced, and we have very, very few.”
Singer said the West Bloomfield area communities weren’t disproportionately affected by the storms, and he said DTE doesn’t have “any significant infrastructure issues” in West Bloomfield.
But he said that communities heavily populated with trees tend to fall victim to outages.
“Our infrastructure is sound, and I think the primary problem … is a challenge for us across our service area — dealing with tree limbs, tree branches,” he said. “We spend a lot of money every year trimming trees and trying to keep trees a reasonable distance from power lines.”
To learn more about West Bloomfield and its emergency updates, visit www.wbtwp.com or call (248) 451-4800. Learn more about DTE Energy at www.dteenergy.com.
- Last 24 Hours
- Last 7 Days
- Last 30 Days
- Missing woman found dead - West Bloomfield
- BHS Orchestra selected to perform at Carnegie Hall - Berkley
- All in the family - Clinton Township
- Christmas Wonderfest brings holiday wonder to Novi - Metro Detroit
- Police seek help in fatal hit-and-run - Clinton Township
- Premature birth rates decline in Michigan for sixth year - Metro Detroit
- Looking Back: 1920s Coolidge Highway - Berkley
- Shelby boy battles rare form of cancer - Shelby Township
- Lions Thanksgiving halftime show spotlights WLC band, cheer teams - Walled Lake
- Mom, man she met online to stand trial on child sex charge - Warren
- Macomb Home Depot creates college scholarship in honor of deceased employee - Macomb Township
- East Detroit student dies following pool accident - Eastpointe
- Attorney dies in Harper Avenue crash - St. Clair Shores
- CVHS students to stage production of ‘Hairspray’ - Clinton Township
- Sterling woman hurt in shooting - Sterling Heights
- Christmas comes to the Shores - St. Clair Shores
- County board considers regional water authority proposal - Macomb County
- Shelby boy battles rare form of cancer
- Lions Thanksgiving halftime show spotlights WLC band, cheer teams
- BHS Orchestra selected to perform at Carnegie Hall
- Macomb Home Depot creates college scholarship in honor of deceased employee
- Child prodigy becomes youngest artist exhibited at Park West Gallery
- All in the family
- Christmas Wonderfest brings holiday wonder to Novi