More than 1,000 residents in Grosse Pointe Woods and Grosse Pointe Farms have been without power since about 3:30 a.m. Thursday, and DTE does not have an estimate about when it'll be restored.
Grosse Pointe Woods police are telling residents that DTE officials have said it'll be back by 9 or 9:30 p.m. Thursday, however.
The outage for the day and the hum of generators could be heard before dawn in the Woods.
Several businesses along Mack Avenue also closed for the day, including the and Subway restaurants. Others offered limited service to customers, including and , which were selling their wares in the daylight hours.
According to DTE's outage map, there are 1,245 customers in the 48236 zip code without power, and 26 in the 48230 zip code. The Woods outage is heavily concentrated in the neighborhoods near Mack Avenue and Vernier Road. The Farms and City outages are along Rivard, University, Neff, near Ridge and McKinley and just off Grosse Pointe Boulevard.
The outage follows complaints by some Grosse Pointers of brown-out conditions, in which a surge on the power system causes a much weaker power source and dims lighting sources and slows other electric connections. The brown-out conditions are likely the result of heavy electricity use in the metro area during the heat wave that led to the National Weather Service issuing heat advisories for the last two days.
Grosse Pointe Woods Councilwoman Vicki Granger said Thursday the area in the Woods has historically been a problem and city officials worked with DTE to improve the power grid serving the area.
DTE first re-balanced the grid, Granger said, explaining it is like spreading out the location where appliances and electronics are plugged in from one plug to many. Then DTE upgraded the grid to support the electricity demand for the area, Granger said.
High winds are thought to be the cause of Thursday's outage, she said.
Councilman Art Bryant was at the on Mack on Thursday afternoon to get some work done because his home was without power. He chatted with residents who were asking him why it always seems to be in their same neighborhood.
"It is frustrating to me, too," said Bryant, adding that he felt for business owners and residents in the area. "City Hall is aware, though, and we will continue to work on the problem."
Bryant noted that as a resident he has noted that in recent years the number of power failures in the often-out Woods neighborhood has decreased, with fewer service disruptions. He also said the power failures have not always been for the same reason.
Still, business owners and residents expressed their frustration Thursday afternoon.
Jimmy and Anthony Cavallo of Josef's bakery were hooking up a power generator they had rented Thursday afternoon. "Why is it always this part of the grid?" he asked.
The power failure at 3:30 a.m. cut into their prime baking time, as these guys work overnight baking fresh goodies for the next day. The bakery's shelves were visibly low on product Thursday, but they still kept doors open to sell what they had.
They opted to get the generator, because in baking the show must go on. "We have weddings. We have events. We have to do this," Jimmy Cavallo said.