UPDATE: DTE Says All Power Restored
A spokesman said the utility restored service Thursday night to the remaining customers who lost power Tuesday after a fire at a Royal Oak substation.
Update, 10:30 p.m. Thursday: All of the 10,000 customers who lost power Tuesday night in Berkley and Royal Oak after a substation fire have had their power restored, DTE spokesman Alejandro Bodipo-Memba said.
9:55 p.m. Thursday: DTE spokesman Alejandro Bodipo-Memba said that of the 10,000 customers who lost power Tuesday night in Berkley and Royal Oak after a substation fire, only 1,000 outages remained.
He said those outages would be resolved within the hour.
"It'll be great when all our customers can have their power back," he said.
5:40 p.m. Thursday: DTE spokesman Alejandro Bodipo-Memba reports early Thursday evening that 1,500 homes and businesses remain without power.
"We expect to have all customers back by 9 p.m. tonight," Bodipo-Memba said. This should come to good news to the remaining DTE customers. Earlier reports were for some to not have power until midnight or later.
"That's been changed," Bodipo-Memba said. "We expect to have everyone back tonight."
11 a.m. Thursday: "We have restored power to 6,600 customers so far," said DTE spokesman John Austerbery late Wednesday morning. "We expect to restore to 3,000 more by later this afternoon or early evening. Hopefully by midnight all will be restored but it could be Friday."
DTE is getting a better handle on the damage of the Webster Road substation but not the cause, Austerberry said.
"We know what needs to be repaired and replaced. We're trying to do a workaround. Our first priority is to get power restored to our customers, not to figured out what caused this," he said.
The problem with damage to a substation is there are limited options for customers served most by the equipment that was severely damaged, Austerberry said.
As for the approximately 400 customers that might have to wait until tomorrow for power, Austerberry would not speculate what geographical area of the city they may be in.
5:20 a.m. Thursday: Power is coming back for many Royal Oak residents who have been without electricity since Tuesday's evening fire at the Webster Road substation. According to DTE's power outage map, an area near 12 Mile Road and Crooks Road has been restored. About 4,794 customers remain without power this morning, most from 12 Mile Road to 13 Mile Road along the east side of Woodard Avenue.
On Wednesday night, Superintendent Shawn Lewis-Lakin released a statement saying programs at Addams Elementary are cancelled Thursday. The school, which is near the knocked out substation, has been without power since Tuesday.
4:50 p.m. Wedesday: DTE spokesman Alejandro Bodipo-Memba said the utility has increased the number of customers it expects will have power restored tonight.
"The repair process is going very well," he said, referring to fixes that had to made after a fire at a Royal Oak substation took out service to 10,000 DTE customers in Royal Oak and Berkley on Tuesday night. "By the end of the evening, we fully expect to have 6,500 customers that were impacted Tuesday back up online."
That leaves 3,500 consumers without power until sometime tomorrow, he said.
Earlier Wednesday, Bodipo-Memba had said 5,000 customers in Royal Oak and Berkley could be without power until Thursday as DTE crews worked to find options for them. He said the majority of outages were in Royal Oak.
11:00 a.m. Wedesday: Even though many businesses were without power along Woodward Avenue on Wednesday, traffic lights were working thanks to generators placed at all intersections that lacked power by the Oakland County Road Commission.
The Royal Oak Department of Public Service also placed generators at other major intersections throughout the city where lights were out, said Greg Rassel, director of recreation and public services. He urged drivers to proceed with care and treat all intersections without power as four-way stops.
"We'll access things again this afternoon and determine whether tonight's activities will need to be cancelled, too," said Rassel.
10:45 a.m. Wedesday: DTE spokesman Alejandro Bodipo-Memba said 2,000 customers have had power restored after a substation fire knocked out service to 10,000 in Royal Oak and Berkley late Tuesday night. He added that 3,000 more can expect to have service restored today.
That was the good news.
Bodipo-Memba added that 5,000 customers in Royal Oak and Berkley could be without power until Thursday as DTE crews work to find options for them.
"The fire is out and crews are there assessing the situation," he said.
He urged those without power to keep generators outside, unplug major appliances and keep their refrigerators closed to preserve as much cold air as possible.
Businesses along Woodward Avenue were among those without power, so call ahead to see if the merchant you plan to visit is open.
7:30 a.m. Wedesday: DTE customers in Royal Oak and Berkley have been without power since approximately 10:20 p.m. Tuesday after a fire at a substation near Woodward Avenue and Webster Road.
"A transformer blew up, which caused the subsequent fire in the substation," said Capt. Tom Kelly of the Royal Oak Fire Department. "We were unable to extinguish the fire immediately. We had to wait for Edison crews to arrive because there were still other transformers energized in the building."
Kelly said utility company crews were on the scene in 15 minutes to shutoff all power in the unoccupied building.
"We cannot be walking around a building in the dark with smoke - especially after an explosion - and risk being electrocuted," Kelly said.
Firefighters were on the scene for more than two and a half hours, he said. There were no reported injuries.
DTE spokesman Alejandro Bodipo-Memba said approximately 10,000 customers in Royal Oak and Berkley had to be taken down due to the fire. The customers will be moved to other circuits as soon as possible, he said. Estimation times range between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. today.
12:03 a.m. Wedesday: An equipment problem in a Royal Oak substation has resulted in a citywide power outage during a record breaking heat wave.
The outage runs from Greenfield Road to Main Street between Catalpa Drive and Normandy Road.
"We are not certain what caused the issue but what we needed to do is take down service to 10,000 customers to address the issue," said DTE spokesman Alejandro Bodipo-Memba.
In the meantime, the utility company is trying to get customers back up on other circuits, Bodipo-Memba said.
"We have no estimate of when customers will be back on line," he said. "We know it is an inconvenience but we are trying to address this in a safe manner."