Michigan power outages: Thousands could remain without service for days
- Winter storm dumps heavy ice in lower Michigan and at least 5 inches of snow in upper Michigan
- More than 700,000 people are without power,
- Power is expected to be restored for most by Sunday
More than 700,000 Michigan residents remained without power Wednesday afternoon, following a rare ice storm across the nation — and it could take several days to restore service.
Several counties in southeast Michigan including St. Clair, Livingston, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Wayne, and Monroe counties are under hazardous weather advisory as freezing rains and gusts continue, according to the National Weather Service.
Many of the outages began Wednesday evening amid a mix of snow and heavy rain. As of 3:30 p.m. Thursday, 488,139 customers are still without power according to DTE.
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Consumers Energy had another 215,000 customers without power and deployed 450 restoration teams in southern Michigan, particularly in the the region near Jackson, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and Adrian. Those areas received nearly a half inch of ice.
Consumers said it hopes power will be restored by Sunday evening but may have to continue restoration efforts into Monday. Power outages in hospitals, fire departments, police stations and water treatment facilities that are impacted are being prioritized, followed by residential and commercial outages.
Over the next five years Consumers Energy said it plans to spend five billion dollars on increasing preventive maintenance including adding more heavy-duty poles, wires and transformers.
DTE has deployed 3,210 workers, along with help from other states, to help restore power. The company predicts that 95 percent of customers will have power by Sunday.
DTE estimates there are nearly 3,000 downed wires across the state.
To report an outage or downed line to Consumers, do so online or by calling at 800-477-5050. To make a similar report to DTE, go online or call 911. It is recommended to stay at least 25 feet away from a downed power line or remain inside until it is repaired.
Northern Michigan has far fewer outages, but a winter storm warning is in place until 7 p.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service reported.
In southeast Michigan, temperatures are expected to warm to the mid-40s on Thursday, dip below freezing overnight and through Friday. Highs should remain in the upper 30s or low 40s for the next several days starting Saturday, according to weather.com.
Cheboygan, Gaylord, Alpena, Traverse City, Manistee, Cadillac, Lake City, Charlevoix among several others are expected to receive between 1 and 5 inches of snow and a possibility of ice.
“This intense blast of winter severely impacted our communities across the state,” said Capt. Kevin Sweeney, commander of the Michigan State Police in a press release. “We are closely monitoring the situation to ensure the public health and safety of Michigan citizens.”
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