Thousands still without power after 'historic' outage - WNEM TV 5

Thousands still without power after 'historic' outage

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TUSCOLA COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Thousands of customers are entering their eighth day without power after a historic windstorm caused massive damage to the state.

TV5 has been following Mary Bular’s story all week. She’s a Mid-Michigan woman who struggled to maintain her critical dialysis treatments during the outage.

Bular got her power back Wednesday, more than a week after the storm. Dozens of others are not so lucky, though.

"Oh it was a God send,” Bular said.

Bular said they're finally using the fireplace for luxury not necessity. Bular is a DTE Energy customer who believed the company could do more to prevent power outages in her neighborhood.

“Trim more brush. There's a lot of brush around here that needs to be taken down,” Bular said.

A spokesperson for DTE Energy said the company has a very aggressive program.

"We have a very aggressive tree trimming program. We've invested millions of dollars in tree trimming throughout the year,” Pete Ternes said.

Ternes said an uprooted tree broke the underground line near his home – knocking out his power. He also said it’s not possible to truck in power for customers to use short term.

"Once you energize a line it could cause additional trouble with the back flow of current while you are trying to work on the line,” Ternes said.

Ternes called last week's weather event the worst in the company's history.

DTE calls a catastrophic storm one that results in 117,000 outages. This one caused 800,000 - about seven times larger than catastrophic standards for the company.

Some in the DTE service area still don't have power. Ternes said there was also a tough situation unfolding in Lapeer.

"Thirty-six people are out of power in Lapeer and they had 36 broken poles. That will take hundreds if not thousands of man hours to bring in those poles and get 36 people back up to power,” Ternes said.

Bular said she feels terrible for those still left in the dark. She hopes they get their power back on soon.

“You don’t realize how much you need that water and that power until you don’t have it for that length of time,” she said. 

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