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Posted on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 5:51 p.m.

Hurricane Sandy: DTE Energy prepares to send workers to help restore power on East Coast

By Ben Freed

DTE Energy has released 100 contract linemen to potentially be sent to the East Coast to help regional energy carriers regain power in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy this week, a company spokesman said.

The move comes as Sandy is moving toward land and could impact Southeast Michigan as well. A National Weather Service issued a wind advisory Monday that warning area residents that gusts could reach up to 50 mph Monday afternoon, strong enough to cause power outages.


Melanie Maxwell I

DTE spokesman Alejandro Bodipo-Memba said the company’s first responsibility is to consumers here in Michigan, and that the company is still attempting to forecast the local need for linemen against the needs in East Coast states.

In 2003, problems in the power grid caused outages across the East Coast that included Southeast Michigan, but Bodipo-Memba said that while Michigan’s own weather might affect its residents’ access to electricity, downed generators or power lines on the East Coast will have no direct effect on Michigan power.

While the entire United States grid is connected, Bodipo-Memba said that outages in one part of the country do not generally lead to power failures or price hikes in other regions, but it is common for utilities to share resources, especially linemen to help restore power to users as quickly as possible.

As of 4:30 on Monday afternoon, CNN is reporting that there are already over 750,000 without power in seven states as Sandy prepares to make landfall.

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Reach out to Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2


Hot Sam

Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 12:52 p.m.

Please get mine going first!!!


Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 12:34 p.m.

hehe, Right to Work States asking for help from union shops! Love it!


Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 10:29 a.m.

It's great to help....and it appears that much of the country unaffected by the hurricane and super storm are sending help to the East....even as far away as California. As SE Michigan HAS been affected by the storm, it would make sense for DTE to quickly restore power here and then move east. NPR reported over 4,000 Washtenaw County residents alone...without power.

Kai Petainen

Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 6:15 a.m.

this is the right thing to do. they'll need it more than us. the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. btw..... it's a heck of a lot more power outages than that... it's in the millions....


Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 3:15 a.m.

They restored our power in Ypsi Township much faster than expected (estimated restoration time was 11:30 Tuesday night), and while we're hoping the power stays on, we don't have much faith. DTE is a company that doesn't give a darn about its customers, and we so wish a company like that would see its downfall in the near future!


Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 3:05 a.m.

Well my power just went out on the west side of town and according to dte's outage map it won't be back up until the night of Nov 1st. So they better not be sending people across the country if it will take them 3 days to fix my power.


Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 2:38 a.m.

Well there are numerous outings around here now! I hope they didn't send everyone!


Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 10:53 p.m.

Yes, it's great to help out the other states, but we hope that DTE really does remember its responsibility to those in Michigan first! It's getting awfully cold out there!


Tue, Oct 30, 2012 : 11:37 a.m.

Contract lineman get paid about $35/hour 20-30 hours a week here, out there they're going to be getting paid $100/hour, 16 hours a day, for probably a week and a half straight. I don't think that DTE could stop them if they wanted to.