First snowfall of the season brings power outages to residents

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published November 22, 2015

 Snow starts accumulating outside Stagecrafters on Washington Avenue in downtown Royal Oak Nov. 21. According to the National Weather Service, the city received about 5 inches of snow.

Snow starts accumulating outside Stagecrafters on Washington Avenue in downtown Royal Oak Nov. 21. According to the National Weather Service, the city received about 5 inches of snow.

Photo by Victoria Mitchell

Although the first snow of the 2015-16 season was a beautiful site, for thousands of residents, the winter weather meant lights out.

About 4,000 Royal Oak DTE customers on the city’s east side were without power Nov. 21.

The power outage also affected parts of Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge and Ferndale.

DTE officials said the power outage was a result of a problem at the company’s Lincoln substation. Residents in the area reported seeing flashing lights in the sky before the outages.

The largest number of residents affected live south of Lincoln Avenue stretching to Interstate 696, and north of 11 Mile Road to Gardenia Avenue. Some areas south of Lincoln reached as far west as Woodward Avenue.

Mayor Jim Ellison was included in the outage.

“We lost our power yesterday evening,” Ellison said on Sunday. “It came on during the night; I’m guessing sometime between 3 and 4 o’clock we got it back.”

By the morning of Nov. 22, the area south of Lincoln Avenue was restored. By the morning of Nov. 23, the 11 Mile Road to Gardenia Avenue area had been restored.

DTE said it had about 40,000 customers in southeast Michigan without power on Sunday.

“We’re working on restoring those people as quickly and safely as possible,” said DTE spokeswoman Stephanie Beres Nov. 22.

Beres said the heavy snow played a role in all outages.

According to the National Weather Service, Royal Oak received between 4 and 6 inches of snow.

Snow began falling more than 1 inch per hour across southeast Michigan on Saturday, Nov. 22. Howell reportedly received the highest snowfall total at 16.8 inches.

According to the National Weather Service, “The NWS Detroit/Pontiac office in White Lake, Michigan, measured 15.5 inches by the time the storm wrapped up, which is the largest snowstorm the office has seen since it was built in 1994.”

Royal Oak Department of Public Service workers maintained leaf collection progress during the weekend.

According to city officials, the DPS expects the snow to slow leaf collection during the week of Nov. 23. Officials were hoping that temperatures would climb into the 40s and begin melting snow so that workers may remove the leaves.

“It’s going to be tough because we had all this nice, warm weather and all the leaves were out there, and they were doing a good job of picking them up, and then it gets cold and snowy and all of the leaves are going to freeze to the ground, so it’s going to hinder them a lot and put them behind schedule,” Ellison said. “We’ll just keep our fingers crossed that we don’t get a snow event where we have to plow.”

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures for Thanksgiving were expected to reach the low 50s with a partly cloudy sky.