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Posted on Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 2:49 p.m.

Trees down, power outages scattered through Washtenaw County Thursday

By Kyle Feldscher


Rain sweeps through downtown Ann Arbor Thursday afternoon.

Kyle Feldscher |

As thunderstorms moved across Washtenaw County Thursday afternoon, dispatchers reported wires and trees were down and reports of power outages were increasing.

DTE Energy spokeswoman Erica Donerson said there were 60,000 DTE customers without power in southeast Michigan. In Washtenaw County, there were 10,000 customers without power, according to a release from the company.

Washtenaw County dispatchers said there were trees down throughout the area and traffic lights were out due to power outages. Exact locations were not immediately available.

DTE Energy spokesman Alejandro Bodipo-Memba said there were confirmed power outages in Washtenaw County. However, he didn’t have a precise number as the situation was in flux.


A pine tree in Saline was no match for the winds that swept through Washtenaw County Thursday.

Courtesy of Chris G. Sellers

“It’s hard to say at this point, there are some outages,” he said. “The storm is passing through as we speak, we’re still getting calls in.”

The DTE outage map showed widespread outages in the Ann Arbor area as of 2:50 p.m. Thursday. The U.S. 23 corridor south of Geddes Road to Interstate 94 was particularly affected. The area east of State Street between Hill Street and Stadium Boulevard was also without power.

An outage was also reported in Pittsfield Township west of the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport.

Rain in downtown Ann Arbor was nearly sideways and coming down in sheets just after 2 p.m. Thursday. The forecast called for storms during the afternoon and Washtenaw County was under a tornado watch until 6 p.m.

The tornado watch was cancelled two hours early.

Lightning and heavy rain were reported throughout the county, but it appeared that was the extent of the severe weather as of 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Ann English

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 8:31 p.m.

I'm glad I wasn't on any of the freeways during the blinding rain, but all the traffic lights were working in western Ann Arbor from 2:00 to 2:30. Even though those traffic lights at Ellsworth and Lohr were working fine, the wind really made them swing. Nobody ran red lights at Wagner and Jackson Roads, where all three colors worked perfectly timed.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 4:15 a.m.

Smart Meters were NOT installed to prevent power outages, but to eliminate meter billing readers walking to read each meter every month - a huge technological advancement. The majority of the power outages are almost always due to falling trees or tree limbs, or to falling lines due to ice buildup, something beyond DTEs ability to control or in fact beyond their responsibility in many cases. Be reasonable people. Would you like DTE to be responsible for the weather?

Ann English

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 8:22 p.m.

SOMEONE has to take personal responsibility for trimming those trees and tree limbs; if not DTE, then the property owners.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 6:22 p.m.

Do the trees belong to DTE, @Cash ?


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 10:15 a.m.

Think you missed the point. Smart meters should tell DTE WHICH areas are without power....not PREVENT outages. And falling trees are beyond DTE's control....yes. HOWEVER, trees near power lines can be cut down/trimmed. That is within DTE's control and within their area of responsibility. I have friends in KANSAS, tornado land, who have lived their 50+ years and their power has NEVER gone out. DTE has a failing power system in SE Michigan.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 12:34 a.m.

Face It. DTE treats us as a Third World Country!


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 11:08 p.m.



Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 10:32 p.m.

The radio updated to 70,000 without power in this area and in Detroit. Glad it is warm out and not cold like the last time.

Ann English

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 8:24 p.m.

It's Friday, and the radio said that 78,000 customers in the tri-county area were out. My power is back on after a little more than 24 hours, but the power map still shows me and my closest neighbors without power.

Homeland Conspiracy

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 9:40 p.m.

Why is it year after year after year it's the same old story. A little rain or wind (sometime for no reason whats so ever) & out go the lights. You would think that this problem would have of been fixed by now. As my bill goes up AGAIN! (to pay for their "Smart Meters") the service goes down & down. Every time the power goes out DTE should have to pay us.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 11:22 p.m.

I worked just west of Golfside off Washtenaw.It seemed all it took was a stiff breeze to knock out the power and this was about 25 years ago.I live just east of Golfside off Packard and I can't remember the last time we lost power for more than a few seconds

Rick Stevens

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 8:56 p.m.

'An outage was also reported in Pittsfield Township west of the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport.' and the outage map shows my house as being w/o power. So why are my lights on, the internet OK and my computer working fine? Lights never even blinked here. So much for the 'Smart meter' stuff... it really was all about billing speed.

another kathy

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 2:01 p.m.

The map may not have been exact, but we are also in that area and lost power for about 5 hours; roughly from 2 pm to 7 pm.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 12:25 a.m.

you'd have to understand resolution of imagery and the scale at which the outage polygon was mapped to know why your house fell into the polygon.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 8:43 p.m.

Why were police not out at Washtenaw and Carpenter at least. It was a mess. People don't seem to understand the direction: treat these intersections a 4 way stops.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 5:40 a.m.

I agree. Police should have been out directing traffic at that stop. Washtenaw and Carpenter is the worst intersection in Washtenaw County and when traffic is jammed up at that stop it bottles up the entire area.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 8:58 p.m.

You are SO right! That was horrible and really dangerous! There's way too much traffic there for no traffic light. That intersection is one of the most dangerous around WITH a working traffic light! And as close as it is to the WCSD....someone could have walked over to direct traffic. And that power went out WAY before the storm hit. The power was out there before 1PM.