Power outages, slow response leave residents livid in Mich.

Colder weather moves into Michigan as crews work to restore power to last 800 in Lansing area

12/31/2013
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Ice-Storm-Power-Michigan-3

Matt Oney holds a sign asking when his two week old baby can come home. The East Lansing resident still does not have power. DTE Energy Co. says 1,600 of its 210,000 affected homes and businesses remained blacked out early Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. Jackson-based CMS Energy Corp. says 800 of its 416,000 affected customers were offline Sunday morning, while the Lansing Board of Water & Light says about 3,300 of its 40,000 affected customers were still out. (AP Photo/The State Journal, Robert Killips)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

LANSING — Angry residents packed a Lansing City Council meeting Monday night to slam the municipal power company’s handling of widespread outages from an ice storm nine days earlier.

The Lansing Board of Water & Light said about 800 homes and businesses remained offline Monday in the aftermath of the Dec. 21 storm. In all, about 40,000 of its customers, or 40 percent, lost power at one point or another.

Residents lined up to give short, angry speeches accusing the power system’s management of failing to communicate and lagging in its response to the recent outages.

“Let’s hold them accountable for their incompetence,” said Kyle Shumaker, 28.

Consumers Energy Corp. and DTE Energy Co., the state’s largest utilities, say they have fully restored power to those affected by the storm. In all, 666,000 Michigan homes and businesses were blacked out and at least five people died in the storm.