A blustery end to the weekend leaves 285,000 people in Metro Detroit without power

Across Metro Detroit, DTE Energy crews are working to get the lights and heat back on for more than 100,000 customers who have been in the dark for more than a day due to high winds.

At one point, 285,000 customers in southeast Michigan were without power. As of 5 p.m. Monday, that number was cut to 115,000 with expectations of the rest being back online Monday night or Tuesday.

Steve and Kris Rhodes in Bloomfield Hills, however, were told it would be longer than that.

"Last I heard from DTE they said 'maybe by 11 o'clock Wednesday p.m.'," Steve said.

"I have a long sleeve shirt, a fleece, and I have my down-coat," Kris said

The Rhodes family has one cold, heatless night behind them but is expecting more but they have a contingency plan.

"We are going to spend tonight and probably tomorrow night with some friends in Waterford that still have power," Steve said.

Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic complicates things a bit so going to a hotel or friend's house isn't as simple as it used to be.

"We see these people with some frequency and we're all so far negative," Steve said.

DTE said crews are everywhere working to get the electricity running again but it just takes time.

"We are working around the clock as quickly and safely as we can," said Ryan Stowe, DTE's VP Distribution Operations.

Stowe says 2,000 employees are working to get the power on and resources are coming from out of state. "Looks like we will be a good 75% restored by the end of the day. Which is a touch ahead (of schedule) and tomorrow we'll be about 90% but we're still looking at the vast majority into Wednesday," Stowe said.

The season is young and more power outages are likely on the way and if the power goes out, it can be hard on your furnace. There are steps you can take now to protect it so you don't have long term issues next time the power goes out.

"My business is in Holly and on the way down I got 26 phone calls," said Rodney Fiedor from Professional Heating and Cooling. "When the power goes out it usually burns parts up on the furnace, shorts the transformer out so that power spike hurts the system."

A generator can't help when the furnace is broken and temperatures inside can go down 8 to 10 degrees an hour. So what do in case you think you could be in the dark, warm up your house? "Preheat the house up. If you normally keep it at 70 degrees, go to 76 degrees," Fiedor said."Before or during a large storm, usually, shut your system off until the storm passes."