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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.

Buildings closed today due to the power outage include and the .

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, saying programs at 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.

and both lost power and canceled daytime activities.

"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 . "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."

Jesse Williams July 18, 2012 at 04:31 AM
According to the DTE app for iOS, those closer to Catalpa and the tracks have an estimated restore time of 7:30-9:30am. Those of us closer to 13/Woodward have an estimate of 3:00-5:00p.
Judy Davids (Editor) July 18, 2012 at 04:33 AM
Thanks for the update Jesse!
Jesse Williams July 18, 2012 at 05:02 AM
A recent update on Berkley's Patch site indicates Bodipo-Memba confirmed a substation fire around 10:20p and that some Berkley DTE customers are also without electrical power.
Kara Rasmussen July 18, 2012 at 01:36 PM
I just got an update from DTE that power should be back on between 8:00am and 10:00am on 07/19/2012. I'm at Woodward and Webster.
Jesse Williams July 18, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Kara, I just got the same update. Ugh!
Richard Pressel July 18, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Mine is on at Benjamin and Normandy.
Kurt Von Eberstein July 18, 2012 at 07:59 PM
We're out, still at Clawson near 13 Mile... A midday, Major accident caused by outage at 13 Mile and Benjamin Ave. light! No generator for a very critical (and accident prone) intersection even on a good day! Not smart Oakland County! Please all, drive with care.
Victoria Fisher July 18, 2012 at 08:05 PM
UGH it is so humid, I feel like I'm melting. Figures that those of us closest to the substation will be the last to get power. I'm at 12 1/2 and Woodward.
Tony V. July 18, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Rule #15 of driving..........when the power is out, treat all intersections as a 4 way stop. Don't expect government to be everywhere at all times.
Paul July 18, 2012 at 09:14 PM
I was wondering who the DBs were that had put stop signs on two of four corners at the 1/2 mile intersections (no generator) along Crooks. Not helpful to add that ambiguity to the situation (does the traffic on Crook have to stop because the light is out, or not because the traffic on Normandy has a physical stop sign and they don't?).
Richard Pressel July 18, 2012 at 09:28 PM
DTE actually called me on the phone with a recording to say power would be on soon. Nice touch.
ROHS Hockey Fan July 18, 2012 at 10:17 PM
I've lost power 2x in the last 10 days...ugh. Actually, so many times in the past 10 years I can't even remember. I've been told that this particular substation is old and needs to be updated. I am furious with DTE. I called and requested an electric outage service credit - $25. There are three types of outage conditions that may qualify for a credit – catastrophic condition outages, normal condition outages, and frequent outages. Maybe if enough of us call...they'll finally fix the problem. Also...contact Michigan Public Service Commision to register a complaint. Storms and tree branches are one thing...but my last 2 were neither.
Fred July 19, 2012 at 12:25 AM
DTE has the consumers by the proverbial testicles. With their monopoly, if they are forced to improve their infrastructure, the cost just gets passed on to you and me, and the rest of the consumers. Rates will continue to rise no matter if they make improvements, or not.
Shelly July 19, 2012 at 02:06 PM
How's this for bad timing- My husband received a call on his cell phone yesterday afternoon that was a recorded message from DTE Customer Service thanking us for being DTE customers and asking if we're happy with our current level of service. If not, please feel free to call us at 866-blah blah to let us know how we can be of service! Gee, thanks for asking. Actually, I would like to speak to someone about our current LACK of service. The call seemingly had nothing to do with the current power outage. Too funny.
D July 19, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Our estimate for restoration has been pushed back AGAIN until 6-8pm tonight. DTE "promised" last night that everyone would be restored today.
cindy gordish July 19, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Ditto!!! How about 27 years! Never gets better just worse. They get rate hikes. Equipment stays old, crews get less. Yes, more people should contact the MPSC. I plan on it. The Utilites are not planning for the usage that is required today. Hence, we have transformer blow ups, and equipment failures. Emergency and future planning and management of current resources appears to be in need of some restructuring. I have thrown hundreds of dollars of food away. So much so that I don't keep much in the refridgerator anymore. Because I never know if power will go. When it does it is out for a long time. Sorry DTE I know your crews work hard, but the powers that be in the high end offices need to get to work. Maybe "Undercover Bosses" for all of them. Get out, get real, see what is happening out here. See what your customers need, not phone calls on land lines that "don't" work when the power is out because they are "electric". Only if you have an old plug in phone will get the call. Nice gesture but....... RO 12 and Crooks
Melanie Tesolin July 19, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Mine says 12a-2a now. NOT HAPPY.
Dave Young July 19, 2012 at 04:54 PM
There's gonna be a blackout on my bill this month. Pictures of rotten food and the receipts from replacing it. Subtracted right off the top.
Mark Itall July 19, 2012 at 05:12 PM
So glad DTE replaced all the poles, wiring and tranformers within several blocks of my house around 2005. Used to have endless outages caused by two ancient 11,500 volts lines with no insulation swinging into each other when it got windy. No issues since then.
M Brown July 20, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Latest "estimate" as to when power will be restored in our neighborhood (13 & Woodward) is now 10 pm Thurs July 19 to 12 am Friday July 20. This is not acceptable, especially given we were without power the entire weekend before last (south side of street only) due to faulty transformers/repairs. Why exactly are Michigan DTE employees being sent out of state? The estimate indicates a lack of manpower. Seriously. Will employees from other states be coming here to help me throw out yet another fridge full of wasted food? Yes, we invested in a generator two summers ago due to the outages. However, as you all know, generators only power a very small percentage of what is needed to stay cool in the heat we have been experiencing. Oh, and DTE sure wasn't too accepting of our not being able to pay bills a year ago due to layoff...shut us off no questions asked!
Chris July 20, 2012 at 07:43 AM
Not so fast there DTE, Not quite all of the 10,000 are restored, There are at least 16 homes on Orchard Grove and Woodsboro still sitting in the dark this morning. DTE seems clueless as to what the cause is . Just because DTE issues a press release doesn't make it true.

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