Power Outage Follow Up

March 18, 2019

On Saturday, March 16, 2019 the City was informed by DTE that an emergency repair was needed to the substation on Second Street. This was going to necessitate a power outage for approximately five hours. Within approximately a half an hour the City had used its various communication methods (website, Facebook, e-mail update) to assist DTE in getting the message out to their customers. DTE also sent a computer generated phone call out to their customers prior to the outage. If you did not receive this call, please contact DTE at 800-477-4747 to make sure they have the correct phone number on file.

The emergency repair was a replacement of the transformer at the substation. The problem with the transformer was discovered during an inspection that was done on Saturday morning. If it were to fail unexpectedly with no replacement transformer or specialized crew readily available, the resulting outage could have lasted much longer. The new transformer that DTE installed is more technologically advanced and will be able to accommodate load growth and economic development in Dexter, improving reliability.

Though this was an emergency repair that needed to be done immediately, the City did receive a couple of questions we would like to address. One question was why the work couldn’t be done at night. DTE would not choose to have the power off during the night. This would mean all street lights and traffic signals would be out, creating the potential for issues on the roadways and in dark neighborhoods. Another question is why the work couldn’t have been done during the week. Having the power out during the week impacts even more businesses and would also require the closure of schools.

The City understands the frustration of our residents and business owners due to this outage. Unfortunately, as with any provider of essential services, difficult decisions sometimes need to be made to preserve the long-term functionality of the system. The City trusts that DTE did not make this decision lightly, but did so to be proactive in preventing a much larger problem in the future.