Sustained high winds and powerful gusts Tuesday and Wednesday have more than 17,247 Consumers Energy customers experiencing an interruption in electric service.
More than 679,000 DTE customers were without power early on Thursday, while more than 300,000 customers of Consumers Energy Co, another MI utility company, were without power, the companies said.
UPDATE: DTE announces this is the second-largest weather related outage in company history.
The governor urged residents to stay clear of downed power lines and to check in on neighbors and family members, especially the elderly and people with health issues that hinder their mobility. About 4,000 were still without power Thursday morning. DTE has called in crews from six other states to help in restoration efforts and 90-percent of customers should back online by Sunday night.
Gusts of wind blowing at 45 miles per hour or higher battered local homes, bullied cars and lay waste to outdoor garbage cans, patio furniture and lawn ornaments.
Power problems aside, the high winds also caused property damage across the St. Cloud area.
"Our estimated time to get all those customers restored will be into late Sunday for the hardest hit areas", he said.
As of 11:30 a.m. Friday, Consumers Energy is reporting 94,000 customers are still without power after restoring about 200,000 of 311,000 customers. Bundle up! The winds will also promote lake enhanced clouds into the afternoon with a few flurries possible and on occasional light snow shower in our North Zone without much trouble.
On Tuesday 30,000 customers were affected, primarily in northern MI.
Customers have three convenient ways to contact DTE during an outage. "It is DTE's responsibility to ensure our investment decisions meet our customers' energy needs - with affordability and reliability among our top priorities". Power was restored about 7 a.m.
Numerous power outages will be likely today.
Many homeowners are now deciding whether to stay home and battle the cold or head for warmer shelter.