Weekend weather dry, not as hot as utility crews continue restoring power
Skies turned sunny over Michigan Saturday as utility crews worked to restore power to hundreds of thousands who remained without electricity following last week's storms.
DTE said about 145,000 customers remained without power Saturday afternoon, while Consumers Energy had about 77,000 still without service. Both companies expect to have power restored to nearly all of their customers by Sunday night.
The silver lining is a glorious weekend ahead with sunshine and blue skies expected at least through Monday.
"The weather is perfect through Monday — highs around 80, dry, sunshine, light winds today, Sunday and Monday," Steven Freitag, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in White Lake Township, said Saturday morning.
"Nighttime temperatures will be in the 50s or 60s, so if you're without power that's obviously good sleeping weather."
DTE said it had 2,800 workers in the field Saturday working 16-hour shifts to safely restore customers as quickly as possible.
"We have restored about 75% of customers affected by the storm earlier this week and are targeting to have more than 80% of customers restored by the end of today," DTE said in a news release.
Over 550 Consumers Energy crews made progress restoring power overnight, reducing the number without service to 77,000 from an initial total of 370,000 who lost service.
"We are expecting we will have the vast majority restored by tomorrow (Sunday)," Consumers Energy spokeswoman Debra Dodd said Saturday.
The company on Saturday was diverting crews to Southern Michigan around Coldwater which suffered some of the worst damage, Dodd said.
"That's where a lot of our heavy damage is — a lot of wire downs, pole damage, that sort of thing. We are taking crews that have finished up north and sending them down to help with that area."
In the meantime, Consumers brought relief to customers with water and ice distributions across the region on Saturday. An ice cream cone giveaway is set for 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Red Barn Market in Lowell.
Dodd said Consumers would also buy tickets for the first 2,500 people to visit Binder Zoo in Battle Creek on Saturday.
Information on all of the company's events is posted the Consumers Energy Facebook page.