Power outages hit more than 17,000 in Livingston County area (2024)

DETROIT — More than 17,000 Livingston County-area electric customers were without power Thursday morning, according to DTE Energy's outage map.

Livingston County received 0.20 inches of ice and between a half inch to an inch of snow and sleet on the ground, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Trent Frey.

"The main area of ice was just to our south over in Jackson, Washtenaw County and then, of course, the main area of snow was up to the north," Frey said. "Oakland and Livingston County kind of threaded the line right between those heavier sloughs and kind of avoided some of the main impacts, thankfully."

In Livingston County, there are approximately, 17,217 customers without power.

As of 11:30 a.m. Thursday, DTE's online map showed at outages across the county and surrounding area. The largest single outage area was around South Lyon where 5,740 customers were out of power. There was not immediate estimate for when power would be restored.

In mid-Livingston County, along Interstate 96, outages from Howell to Brighton totaled more than 8,200 customers. The Hamburg Township area had about 932 customers without service.

Consumers Energy's online outage map showed several hundred customers without power in the Unadilla Township area. Some areas of Unadilla Township have an estimated restoration time of 6:45 a.m. Saturday or 2:15 a.m. Sunday.

There were no major crashes or significant injuries on the roads because of the storm, Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy said.

“The good thing is people, as a general rule, can’t get going fast enough to hurt themselves, so we did have some road runoffs and some crashes, but nothing of any significance,” Murphy said.

Livingston County Emergency Management Director Therese Cremonte said the biggest issue has been down lines.

"We have lines that are down and those need to be addressed. They are going to continue to come down until this ice melts because obviously there's a lot of weight and strain on the lines right now," she said.

Cremonte said she was hopeful that the temperature would warm up Thursday afternoon and would give DTE some relief.

Temperatures at 11 a.m. Thursday were about 32 degrees, Frey noted.

"We'll have a cold front come through (Thursday evening). That'll drop us back below freezing for tonight," Frey said.

The National Weather Service forecast 30 to 40 mph winds for a brief period in the late afternoon Thursday. Frey said areas that still have ice on trees could see issues.

For those without power, Cremonte recommended public spaces such as Walmart or other grocery stores. Additionally, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Salvation Army, 503 Lake St. in Howell, was being used as a warming center Thursday and Friday.

DTE reminded people to stay at least 25 feet from downed lines.

"Ice storms moved through Michigan overnight and extreme weather continues to affect our service territory," DTE said. "The trees and branches that fell due to the ice storms damaged our power lines and caused outages. Our Storm Response Teams, along with line workers from neighboring states, will continue to work around the clock to restore power as quickly and safely as possible."

Consumers asked for patience.

“We are responding to the damage caused by this storm with an all-hands-on-deck effort to restore power as quickly and as safely as possible,” said Melissa Gleespen, one of Consumers Energy’s officers in charge for the event. “We understand how frustrating a power outage can be, and we are grateful for our customers’ patience and understanding as our crews work deliberately to get the lights back on.”

Cremonte agreed people should use caution around downed lines.

"Call them in to 911 and whoever the service provider is whether it's DTE or Consumers and then just keep themselves, their pets and their kids away from the area," Cremonte said.

Additionally, she noted that down lines can "charge" puddles of water, trees and anything else around them.

"We have ice on these branches and even a green branch that doesn't have ice on it could conduct electricity because it has moisture in it, so don't touch a branch. Don't pick up a branch to move a line. Stay away from it. Let the professionals handle it," Cremonte said.

In a Facebook post, Hamburg Township Public Safety also reminded people to be cautious.

"It’s a beautiful sight out there this morning," the department posted on Facebook. "Crews from both Hamburg PD and Hamburg Fire have been out all night working in conjunction with our partners at DTE and the Livingston County Road Commission to clear roadways, mark hazards not able to be removed yet, and help identify issues to restore power.

"…Please, be careful out there. Crews were reporting multiple trees/limbs essentially shattering under the weight of the ice and coming down last night. While it is picturesque, please be mindful that this ice accumulation presents a major safety hazard," the post said.

Late Wednesday night, the Brighton Area Fire Authority posted that its staff had been busy.

"Very busy day, evening and early morning for our crews," the Facebook post said. "With over 60 incident responses so far. Be on the lookout for downed trees, power lines it’s very slippery and dangerous out still! … Road conditions are not good. Crews have been out all evening and night responding to various incidents."

The Livingston County offices were closed Thursday morning until 11 a.m., according to Cremonte.

“If you don’t have to go anywhere, stay at home. Let the fire departments or road crews do their thing," Murphy said.

Power outages hit more than 17,000 in Livingston County area (2024)


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On Aug. 14, 2003, at about 4:10 p.m., millions of people living throughout Metro Detroit and Michigan were without power for at least one day, some even longer. The report said this was all because of a tree branch in Ohio that sparked an outage reaching seven other states and Canada.

When was the big power outage in Michigan? ›

What Happened? August 14 and 15, 2003 - The northeastern U.S. and southern Canada suffered the worst power blackout in history. Areas affected extended from New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey west to Michigan, and from Ohio north to Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario. Approximately 50 million customers were impacted.

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Yes, provided the power hasn't been out for too long and that there's city water to provide water pressure. The water in the water heater tank will stay hot for quite a long time, so you'll be able to take a hot shower as long as you aren't in there too long.

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Televisions, computer equipment, game consoles, fans, lights and all other smaller appliances should be unplugged, especially if they were in use when the power went out. Larger appliances, such as refrigerators, should not be unplugged.

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