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Sterling Heights

May 17, 2013

DTE blackout-prevention projects target four city spots

By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer

STERLING HEIGHTS — Sterling Heights homes with occasional power-outage problems could soon find relief as DTE Energy has announced four city projects to boost reliability.

At a May 7 City Council meeting, Sterling Heights City Manager Mark Vanderpool said DTE is making various improvements in local neighborhoods affected by regular or consistent power outages over the past few years. He said DTE plans to spend around $750,000 for the upgrades, which are designed to prevent future outages.

“For those of you who have suffered through some outages, hopefully you’re in these areas and you’ll see some improvement,” he said.

DTE spokeswoman Randi Berris said the projects are part of a larger plan to enhance the electric system throughout the company’s service territory.

“DTE typically spends hundreds of millions of dollars per year on our system liabilities upgrades,” she said.

Berris said her company had already finished a project southeast of 19 Mile Road and Schoenherr in 2012. She added that Sterling Heights’ four 2013 projects will all involve underground lines in the following ways:

• Replace 5,000 feet of underground cable west of Saal Road and south of Graebner Elementary School. This project was started in May, she said.

• Replace 5,000 feet of underground cable southeast of Canal Road and M-53. This project also began in May.

• Fix underground cables and a reclosing device northwest of Clinton River Road and Schoenherr Road. This project will begin when the two already in progress are complete.

• Replace 5,300 feet of underground cable southeast of 16 Mile and Ryan roads.

“The cables that are in those subdivisions currently have experienced failures, so the new cables will eliminate that problem from recurring,” Berris said.

Berris had some advice for people who may witness crews at work. If the crews are working by the street, slow down when driving and give them space. Also, stay away from any power lines that might be exposed.

“While DTE will take every precaution for safety, anytime a resident may see a line on the ground, they should always assume it’s live,” she said.

At the May 7 council meeting, Vanderpool said that DTE customers who experience power problems but do not live in the affected areas should contact the city. Also, he said the company has an interactive service that lets customers access their homes’ power statuses via smartphone.

“You can actually plug in your address, and you will get an immediate update, in terms of when the estimated repairs (are) expected to occur,” he said.

Learn more about DTE Energy at www.dteenergy.com. Contact Sterling Heights at www. sterling-heights.net or at (586) 446-2489.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Eric Czarnik at eczarnik@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1058.