By Dean Vaglia
Leader Staff Writer
A set of severe storms tore through southeast Michigan — including Oxford and Addison townships — on the afternoon and evening of Aug. 11, cutting power to about 600,000 people across the region.
“We had pretty much a widespread line of showers and thunderstorms that rolled through all of the Detroit metro area,” Steve Freitag, National Weather Service meteorologist in White Lake, said. “Plenty of embedded 60 mph wind gusts in the line of storms, and of course that led to tree limbs and trees coming down and extensive power outages.”
The storms rolled through Oxford around 3 p.m. and lasted until around 5 p.m., with more storms coming through overnight into the morning of Aug. 12. As of 3:30 on Aug. 12 about 9,000 electrical customers across Oxford and Addison Townships were still without power.
“The first call we got was at 4:11 p.m. for downed wires,” Oxford Fire Chief Pete Scholz said. “We ended up having 12 calls for downed wires.”
The summer of 2021 has seen a number of storms that have caused extensive power outages. A storm on July 20 uprooted several trees in Oxford with high winds.
“Both (storms) have not been too much in terms of damage-wise,” Scholz said. “Addison has been pretty responsive as far as getting everything fixed. Today (Aug. 12) is going to be a little more difficult because it is more widespread. You’ve got from Brandon Township … to Addison Township, Orion Township, us, even the south end of the county. Everyone in Oakland County is affected by it now.”
DTE Energy tracked over 3,100 downed wires, broken poles and other tree-related damages across their service area, according to a press release.
“DTE employees and contractors are working 16-hour shifts around the clock to quickly and safely secure downed wires and restore power to our customers,” the company said via press release. “More than 1,800 DTE personnel are working to restore service, and we have called in more than 1,000 additional out-of-state linemen to help with restoration efforts.”
By Dean Vaglia