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Electricity knocked out after ice storm slams Michigan

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Posted at 7:40 AM, Feb 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-24 09:48:25-05

More than 700,000 customers in the Midwest were without power early Friday, one day after a powerful ice storm damaged power lines and brought down trees.

The Detroit area had the most without power, with 461,376 DTE Energy customers.

DTE President Trevor Lauer did an update on Friday morning and said today will be their first full day of restoration and that ice melted broadly across the service territory, but another 100,000 people lost power on Thursday while the ice was still on the wire.

According to Lauer, yesterday's focus was on public protection and restoring power lines. They said they restored power to about 150,000 to 160,000 customers on Thursday.

Matt Paul, the executive vice president of distribution operations at DTE, spoke on Thursday morning and said that some areas received up to three-quarters of an inch of ice, which is a level they haven't seen in nearly 50 years.

"We know how frustrating it can be, but we do want to assure people and all of our customers that we’re going to continue to work around the clock until each and every customer is restored," Paul said.

According to Paul, they have over 1,000 line workers and 400 workers from nearby states working to restore power, and additional line workers are coming in from other states this afternoon.

According to an update on Thursday morning from DTE, they expect to restore service to 95% of customers by Sunday, Feb. 26.

Officially, Ann Arbor had the most ice in the region, with .65 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

The winter storm also brought heavy snow throughout the Great Lakes region.

Despite gusty winds from blizzard conditions in Minnesota, there were relatively few power outages. Parts of the Minneapolis area had up to 20 inches of snow, the National Weather Service reported.

Reporting from Scripps News Detroit was used in this report.