(Crystal A. Proxmire, The Ferndale 115 News Wire, 9/5/2011)
Throughout SE Michigan, 45,000 customers remain without power, including thousands of homes in Ferndale and Hazel Park, after storms hit Saturday night. The DTE Website says the company expects to have service restored to 90% of customers by the end of the day.
“Our crews continue to work round the clock to restore customers. DTE Energy and contract line crews have been providing assistance to states impacted by Hurricane Irene. We have recalled those crews and they have arrived back in Michigan and are at work this morning,” says the DTE site.
The first day of school has been cancelled for Ferndale Public Schools, with a school statement saying “For the safety of our students, the first day of the school year has been cancelled to allow clean up crews to restore the streets of our school community to safety after Saturday’s violent storm.
‘Currently, several district buildings remain without power. Even so, school principals will be on hand on Tuesday morning to help students who do come to school return home safely. ”
Fire Marshall Brian Batten reports that downed power lines and a fire on Reimmanville in Royal Oak Township have been keeping firefighters busy. Employees from the Department of Public Works have also been working overtime to clean up fallen trees and debris.
Ferndale is no stranger to power outages. A major one earlier this summer left residents sweltering without air and bored without TV for a week. Residents had to throw out food and many businesses were affected.
Around the city, residents faced the consequences of the storm:
Tyler Beltz reported a branch landing on top of family’s new roof and another crushing their garage. Evie Fredenburg on Hyland had a tree go through her picture window, and another through the roof into the bedroom, causing damage and scaring her four kitties.
Emilie Rothgery said a neighbor with a chainsaw helped take apart a tree that had fallen across her street and damaged two cars.
Laura Kendall said the outage cost her money in lost food and gas going elsewhere, but it also gave her time to read two books. Jason Thompson said he “read more than usual, but have stayed pretty connected due to mobile devices and car chargers. I met neighbors I never talked to and talked to other neighbors more than usual. Lost quite a bit of food, but could definitely be worse. Hope it doesn’t go too long, we may run into a laundry crisis!”
“It truly is interesting how people are outside more, talking to others they would not talk to, meeting neighbors, being friendlier,” said Patricia Carlton Cissell. “More people going for walks, walking dogs and bike riding. Yes a lot is to see the damages, but the lack of electricity makes it seem like the older days when people were more outdoorsy and neighborly. That part makes this all cool. The rest…not so much.”
Cissell said she is “blessed by no damage” and still has electricity at her home, but says she “feels bad for all those who did not fare so well.” As far as other consequences of these long summer days without electricity, she suggests: “Check out the birth statistics in 40 weeks!”
For the latest information on power outages, see the DTE website at http://www.dteenergy.com.