Loading…
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
HomeNewsState
Published: 12/24/2013 - Updated: 3 months ago

More than 200,000 customers still without power in Michigan after weekend ice storm

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Crews work to restore power lines that were damaged along DeMille Road in Lapeer, Mich. on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, after the ice storm over the weekend. (AP Photo/Detroit News, Robin Buckson) Crews work to restore power lines that were damaged along DeMille Road in Lapeer, Mich. on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, after the ice storm over the weekend. (AP Photo/Detroit News, Robin Buckson)
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

LANSING, Mich. — Thousands of Michigan families headed into the Christmas holiday without heat and electricity.

Crews worked around the clock Tuesday, but utility officials said it might take several days to restore all power following a weekend ice storm that left more than half a million homes and businesses without service.

As of late Tuesday, about 213,000 customers remained in the dark. Consumers Energy reported about 152,000 customers still were without service. DTE Energy said it still had 49,000 outages, while the Lansing Board of Water and Light had about 12,000 without power.

“It’s unprecedented,” Mary Palkovich, vice president of Energy Delivery for Consumers Energy, said of the outages created by the storm.

Jackson-based Consumers, Michigan’s largest utility, said the storm was the worst for their customers during Christmas week in its 126-year history. About 318,000 homes and businesses — nearly 17 percent of its 1.8 million electric customers — lost power during the storm that hit the state late Saturday.

“There are so many trees that have fallen with all that heavy ice on them. Along the roadside, they knocked the lines down,” said Ted Montgomery, who lives north of Detroit in Lapeer.

His power went out about 10 a.m. Sunday. He and his wife have been using their fireplace for heat.

“We haven’t had any power in two days and DTE is saying it won’t be on until Dec. 27,” said Montgomery, 61.

The utilities have said it would take days before most power can be restored because of the difficulty of working around ice-broken lines.

High winds may be a problem Wednesday, Palkovich said.

“It interferes with power lines again,” she said. “Tomorrow could limit a little of our progress. Gusts over 30 mph ... it’s tough to put employees into buckets.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, Consumers Energy had nearly 450 electric line crews working.

Jamie Billings, of Tyrone Township in Livingston County, had a glimmer of hope that her power would be back on for Christmas.

“We have a wood-burning stove, so I’ve been staying at home, but I’m going to have to start throwing stuff in the fridge out,” Billings told The Flint Journal.

Carla Coulter of Clio saw the brighter side of temporarily being in the dark.

“We don’t have power,” the 46-year-old Coulter told MLive.com as she held her year-old grandson during a holiday celebration in downtown Flint. “We’re warming up, and I just feel so very blessed to have my family. I don’t need anything else.”



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.

Related stories




Poll