Ice storm leaves hundreds of thousands in Mich. without power
After a weekend of fire and ice, things should calm down a bit the next few days. But don’t be looking for blue skies just yet.
It could rain Monday and Wednesday, and it will remain colder than normal, said the National Weather Service. High temperatures will be in the low 40s Monday and Tuesday and reaching 50 on Wednesday.
Still, that’s better than the mini-apocalypse Sunday that included flooded freeways, power outages, ice-encrusted buildings and fires started by downed power lines.
About 332,000 homes and businesses were without power Sunday night and some won’t get it back for several days, said DTE Energy.
Among those affected are area schools, including in Wayne County: Academic Gardens Preschool, Concordia Lutheran South - Lutheran-Missouri Synod, David Ellis Academy WestRedford and Wayne County RESA.
The schools will remain without power Monday and possibly Tuesday.
DTE said its crews are working around the clock but are hampered by the wretched weather and dangerous road conditions. It has requested help from neighboring energy companies, whose reinforcements will arrive early Monday.
The utility said its focus Sunday was on public safety, identifying and security downed power lines. It reported that 1,000 lines had fallen in Wayne County
third of the cost of their average monthly bill and freezing overdue amounts.
Brown said WRAP has a partnership with Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, which offers services such as financial management programs and sends plumbers to homes to check for leaks. Water leaks, Brown said, are a leading cause of high water bills.
There are currently
about 12,000 customers on payments plans with the city and another 4,500 in the WRAP program, officials say.
The water department also has rolled out options in the last year to make payments easier for customers. There are now kiosks at the department headquarters downtown and at stores such as Rite Aid across the city that allow customers to pay their bills. Residents can also reserve a spot in line at the customer service care center by visiting a website.
“Every customer has a path not to see a disconnection if they ask for the help,” Brown said. “The real challenge I’m seeing is getting people to ask for help.”
The average outstanding bill for a customer subject to shut off is $663. However, most Detroit customers should see an average monthly bill of $75, Brown said.
Brown said he takes every route possible to prevent shutoffs because disconnecting and reconnecting a customer’s water service can be costly.
Last year, the department spent about $3 million on water shut-offs, he said.