DTE assigning crews to 200,000 homes for power restoration - here's what will get fixed first

With Southeast Michigan finally getting a day to catch its breath, utility crews will spend Friday working to restore power to the hundreds of thousands of homes that lost electricity this week. 

UPDATE: DTE plans to have electricity restored to 90% of customers by Friday evening

DTE plans to assign crews to approximately 200,000 homes today in hopes of making a dent in the total outages numbers, which reached more than 500,000 customers late Thursday night. 

Since then, the number of outages has fallen to 461,000 homes, which many of those located in western Wayne County, Wastenaw County, and Livingston County. Those three areas will get the most attention since crews can make the largest impact in reducing outages there, DTE's president said.

"We'll do everything possible to get to that 95% number," said Trevor Lauer, referring to the utility's goal of power restoration by Sunday. "Washtenaw County and Livingston County saw the most extensive ice, exceeding half an inch."

The ice storm on Wednesday brought unique conditions to Metro Detroit, with precipitation falling over the region at just the right temperatures to freeze to surfaces. 

The hazard made conditions particularly dangerous due to the added weight that ice can bring to tree branches and power lines, knocking more than 3,000 down. DTE spent most of Thursday getting those back up to reduce the threat to public safety. 

Friday will be the "first full day of restoration" Lauer said.

RELATED: Warren man watches garage burn from downed wire as DTE takes 6 hours to respond

During a virutal update with media, Lauer said the utility prioritizes its work based on how many customers it can restore power to with the fewest resources. From there, it will focus on facilities and buildings that provide necessary services like warming shelters.

After that, crews will focus on schools to make sure kids can return to class Monday. Dozens of districts canceled class for a third day in a row because of outages linked to Wednesday's storm.

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