Michigan Power Outages: Hundreds of Thousands Left Without Electricity After Winter Storm

Hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents were left without power on Thursday after a historic winter storm rocked metro Detroit and other parts of the state. The ice and snowstorm caused thunder, downed thousands of ice-coated power lines, and forced school districts to cancel classes for a second day.[0] As of Friday evening, Consumers Energy reported 44,465 customers — about 56.8 percent of its customers in Jackson County — without power, while DTE Energy reported 346,762 customers without power.[1] Kalamazoo County declared a state of emergency and opened a warming shelter, while Van Buren, Kalamazoo, Barry, Eaton, Ingham, Calhoun, Jackson, Washtenaw, Branch, Hillsdale and Lenawee counties were the hardest hit.[2]

As of Friday morning, officials from both Consumers Energy and DTE Energy are reporting that more than 272,000 households and businesses in Michigan are without power. DTE is aiming for 95 percent power restored by Sunday night, while Consumers projected that a majority of customers would get electricity back by Sunday.[3] DTE has anticipated that the majority of its service areas will have power restored by Sunday.[4] All power should be restored by Saturday evening, though some homes in areas where there was heavy damage from the storms may need to wait longer than that.[5]

In Michigan, utility personnel are striving to bring electricity back to hundreds of thousands of people in the state.[6] More than 3,210 workers from DTE, as well as assistance from other states, have been dispatched to facilitate the restoration of power.[7] It is anticipated that 95% of customers will be restored with power by Sunday.[7] Consumers said they have 540 crews in-state and out-of-state and hundreds of people behind the scenes working to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.[3]

Despite the chill this morning, Lauer said the weekend poses a reduced risk for more outages as warmer temperatures throughout Thursday afternoon have melted a lot of the ice on power infrastructure and trees.[8] As the ice continues to melt, the outages should stop growing.[0]

Two warming centers have been opened in Dearborn Heights, while the Canfield Center and Richard A. Young Center in Ypsilanti are open until 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. respectively.[0] The Eagle Crest Conference Center in Ypsilanti is closed on Friday evening, although the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office is working on finding an alternate location.

0. “More than 707,000 without power after ‘historic' storm dumps ice, snow on Michigan” Detroit News, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.detroitnews.com/story/weather/2023/02/21/winter-storm-watch-effect-snow-southeast-michigan-forecast-national-weather-service/69926552007/

1. “More than 346K without power after ice storm causes outages, damage” WXYZ 7 Action News Detroit, 22 Feb. 2023, https://www.wxyz.com/news/more-than-68k-dte-customers-without-power-during-ice-storm

2. “‘This is bad': Power outages extend into weekend” WOODTV.com, 24 Feb. 2023, https://www.woodtv.com/news/kalamazoo-county/this-is-bad-power-outages-extend-into-weekend

3. “More than 600,000 remain without power in Michigan” Crain's Detroit Business, 24 Feb. 2023, https://www.crainsdetroit.com/energy/more-600000-remain-without-power-michigan

4. “Power outages remain, but crews make progress in Great Lansing area” Lansing State Journal, 24 Feb. 2023, https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/2023/02/24/ice-storm-power-outages-remain-but-crews-make-progress-in-great-lansing-area/69940714007

5. “95% Of Power Restored, 5K Still Without Power In McHenry Co.: Comed” Crystal Lake, IL Patch, 24 Feb. 2023, https://patch.com/illinois/crystallake/95-power-restored-5k-still-without-power-mchenry-co-comed

6. “700,000 Michigan power outages likely to be fixed by Sunday” Detroit Free Press, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2023/02/24/michigan-power-outages-utilities/69939074007/

7. “Michigan power outages: Thousands could remain without service for days” Bridge Michigan, 3 Feb. 2023, https://www.bridgemi.com/quality-life/michigan-power-outages-thousands-could-remain-without-service-days

8. “DTE continues power restoration efforts; goal to have most restored by Sunday” WXYZ 7 Action News Detroit, 24 Feb. 2023, https://www.wxyz.com/news/dte-continues-power-restoration-efforts-with-goal-to-have-most-restored-by-sunday