DTE to finish windstorm damage repairs in 8-10 weeks

Nearly a month after a historic wind storm knocked out power across metro Detroit, energy crews are still working on repairing the extensive damage.

"At first I was worried that it wasn't going to get taken care of, but so far they've been cooperating," said homeowner Caroline Jackson.


It was a welcomed sight for DTE customers in Detroit-- crews cutting down trees, stringing new wire and adding a new utility pole.

It's all related to last month's wind storm that knocked out power to more than 800,000 customers.

Since DTE's immediate focus was getting the power back on as soon as possible, many of their fixes were temporary.

Now, crews are going back to make permanent repairs.

"As we work to repair these 6,000 locations, at the end of it all, our system will be not only back to normal, but in many cases, will be better than when it started because we're replacing what was aged infrastructure with brand new equipment," said Heather Rivard, senior vice president of distribution with DTE.

The historic storm packed winds of up to 70 miles an hour, knocking down 12,000 power lines and 1,000 utility poles.

It's a lot of work, but in the end DTE says the repairs all add up to a big upgrade for customers, meaning more reliable service.

"We're now in a period of heavy investment over the last couple of years and going into the next several years to improve the overall reliability of our grid by hardening the grid and also by using more technology on the grid," Rivard said.

DTE has been working on the permanent repairs ever since they restored power after the storm, but still estimates they're only about a third of the way done.

They estimate it will be another 8 to 10 weeks before they're finished.