DTE Energy, the power provider for SE Michigan, now has a mobile web based trouble reporting interface:
Now you can report power outages on line using a mobile device.
Just go to mobile.dteenergy.com with your web-based cell phone or PDA. In moments you can report an outage or get a repair estimate on a previously reported outage.
This is reporting only, not mapping, and the mobile interface has the most pessimistic assumptions about mobile phone capacity. If you have a cell phone capable of displaying a PDF file, you can get the DTE power outage map directly. Oddly, the mobile phone interface does not include a regular phone number (1-800-477-4747) on it if you happen to have a problem with the web site.
There were quite a few problems with incoming phone calls to that phone number in the past few days; they were attributed to problems they were working on with the help of Verizon.
Mike Wendland from the Free Press has been without power for a week, and relates this trouble report:
In my area of Oakland Township, said James, there were still six downed wires that needed to be fixed, a blown transformer, problems with an underground connection and still unknown issues at a nearby substation. He said crews were working 24 hours a day but there was still much to be done.
There are plenty of comments on his post regarding the untrustworthiness of DTE estimated time to repair numbers that are being given out, and unwillingness to believe the counts of houses without power:
We've been in a hotel for 3 nights, but...late yesterday, I got my hopes up. Our status was 'power restored'!!! My husband went to the house today at noon, and no...no power, and it hadn't been on in the neighborhood at all. I have to believe they're just closing some work tickets to make things look better, then reopening them when the get the 2nd, or 3rd or 4th call. This has happened to several people I work with as well. One got through to a warm body at DTE and they said "You don't have power? We show you do!!!" That whole neighborhood was and is "down".
More bad weather expected Friday, of course it's too soon to know if this will trigger more outages.