DTE power outages: The company's electricity restoration process

Thursday's thunderstorms knocked out power to about 90,000 DTE Energy customers in Southeast Michigan.

Strong winds brought down trees and branches onto lines, leading to many single outages. Single outages are the last ones addressed. 

Here's DTE's process for getting the lights back on:

When a storm is coming, the company sees where it is expected to hit and starts getting crews in those areas.

Once the storm has hit, DTE said the priority is figuring out where lines are down and getting public safety deployed to handle these wires.

Next, damage assessment is performed to see the extent of the damage and what crews will need to fix the power outages.

After the damage assessment is done, crews start focusing on restoring power to critical infrastructure first. This includes police and fire departments, pumping stations, and hospitals. Large clusters of outages are next. Then, single outages are handled last.

Many of the outages from Thursday are single outages.  

While this may be frustrating for customers waiting, Joe Musallam, the vice president of distribution operations for DTE, said it takes one crew per customer in these cases, so they end up being the final stop.

To prevent a single outage in the future, Musallam said to keep trees trimmed back away from wires and avoid planting trees too close to power lines.