The Metro: Thousands without power in metro Detroit amid extreme heat, severe storms

DTE Energy expects to restore power to 80-90% of affected customers by the end of the day Thursday.

Roughly 40,000 households in metro Detroit are without power after strong storms moved through the region on Wednesday and Thursday.

DTE Energy reported Thursday morning the company is bringing in storm response teams from Ohio, Illinois and Indiana to help speed up restoration efforts. Brian Calka, vice president of Distribution Operations for DTE Energy, joined The Metro on Thursday to provide an update on restoration efforts and share some safety tips.

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Calka says the majority of the damage in the area on Wednesday was in Oakland County, specifically in the communities of Southfield, Royal Oak and Beverly Hills. Mount Clemens in Macomb County also experienced significant damage, with wind speeds reach 50 mph.

Calka said DTE crews worked through the night to restore power in the area, with expectations to restore power to all customers by Friday. Eighty to 90% of resident’s power should be restored by the end of day Thursday, he said.

“We’ve got an army of crews out there working today,” he said. “We’ll make a big dent in the number today with the rest of these customers being restored as soon as possible.”

DTE has a four-point plan to improve the state’s power grid and infrastructure, Calka said, making it more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

“Some areas, we’re completely rebuilding the grid,” he said. “We’re accelerating pole replacements and the hardware replacements throughout our system, and of course, really foundational to reliability to our customers is tree trimming.”

As a record-breaking heat wave continues to sweep across the Midwest and Northeast, officials are urging people to limit outdoor activities if possible and check on those who may be vulnerable to the high humidity and heat.

Calka also encouraged residents with power to check on their friends and neighbors, and those without power to stay hydrated and use a generator if available.

“Make sure the generator is set up outside the home and make sure it’s away from any windows or doors because those fumes can cause problems,” he added.

A heat advisory remains in effect through 10 p.m. Thursday for most of the Detroit Metro area. Heat index values are expected to peak in the mid to upper 90s, according the National Weather Service, with scattered thunderstorms expected this afternoon and throughout the week. Temperatures are forecasted to drop slightly in metro Detroit by early next week, with highs expected to linger in the mid-80s.

For the most up-to-date outage information from DTE Energy, visit

Use the media player above to hear the full interview with Calka.

More headlines from The Metro on June 20, 2024:

  • The Michigan Glass Project is hosting a glass, music and art festival at the Russell Industrial Center this weekend. Drew Kupps, event coordinator, artist and co-founder of the Michigan Glass Project, joined The Metro to talk about the 10th annual event.
  • Detroit native and College for Creative Studies graduate LaKela Brown joined the show to talk about her first solo museum presentation, “From Scratch: Seeding Adornment,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit this summer. Brown uses the exhibit as an opportunity to celebrate Black ancestral and cultural expressions that span generations despite incredible odds.
  • A new coffee shop, Cafe Noir, recently opened in Detroit’s north end. Previously, occupied by two other coffee shops — Black Coffee, which opened in late 2022, and Kenilworth Cafe a year before that — the new space was reimagined with a French-inspired flair. To share more about their business, co-owners Evan Fay and Asher Van Sickle joined The Metro.

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