'Am I going to have power the next day?' DTE outages leaves business owner at a loss
ROYAL OAK, Mich. (FOX 2) - On Woodward between 11 Mile and 12 Mile sits Smoky’s Fine Cigars - a fixture there for the past 30 years.
"We sell all tobacco products, cigarettes, cigars, accessories, roll your own," said owner Frank Arabo. "Our biggest sellers are mostly handmade cigars."
But lately Frank Arabo hasn’t been selling a lot — back-to-back power outages forced him to close up shop.
"Every time I see it’s going to rain hard, snow hard, I hold my heart - 'Oh my God am I going to be able to have power the next day?"
Two weekends in a row, Smoky’s had no electricity — along with hundreds of thousands of other DTE Energy customers.
"People are not going to come, it’s all dark over here, we lose business (and) they go somewhere else," he said. "We get hurt, all different ways, we get hurt."
And it is not just Frank’s bottom line that's affected.
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"I have a cigar room that’s got to stay fresh, that’s got to stay humidified all the time - with no power, no humidity," he said.
Michigan lawmakers recognize the scope of the problem - saying it is simply unacceptable for the energy companies to continue to have prolonged power outages across the state — and they are calling for change.
"They just got to do something about this," he said. "We’re in 2023 how can this be happening to us, I mean seriously we’re living in the USA."
Frank is hopeful that brighter days are on the horizon.
"I’m hopeful it’s just they got to step in," he said. "That’s all I’m asking the government to step in, and take action."