High winds cut power to 260000 DTE customers

High winds in Southeast Michigan have cut power to more than 260,000 DTE Energy Co. customers and caused at least one death from a fallen tree limb.

The number of those without power jumped from 160,000 within a span of two hours Friday afternoon. Spokeswoman Amanda Knaebel said the company is unsure when power will be restored, as high winds are preventing crews from immediately fixing lines.

“Once the weather has passed, crews will assess the damage and provide an estimate early Saturday,” according to the latest update from DTE. “Our crews will work 16-hour shifts around the clock until all customers are restored.”

Knaebel said crews will be working through the night, restoring critical needs first.

A fallen tree branch killed a man in Independence Township on Friday, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s office, which issued words of caution across its social media channels.

Detroit-based DTE warned customers to stay at least 20 feet from downed power lines. Downed lines can be reported by calling (800) 477-4747 or visiting Dteenergy.com.

More information can be found on the utility’s power outage map.

About 78,000 Consumers Energy customers are also without power as of 3 p.m., according to the Jackson-based utility. Like DTE, it said it plans to work through the night and weekend.

The National Weather Service Advisory issued a high wind warning for metro Detroit and mid-Michigan until 6 p.m. Friday, with peak gusts of 55-65 miles per hour.

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