Traverse City Record-Eagle

Michigan

December 27, 2013

About 103,000 still without power in state

JACKSON (AP) — About 103,000 Michigan homes and offices remained without power early Thursday evening after a weekend ice storm struck much of the state.

Estimates from three Michigan utilities showed about 598,000 homes and businesses lost service.

Jackson-based Consumers Energy said outages were down Thursday afternoon to 73,500 from 368,000 total customers that lost power. Some might have to wait until Saturday to get power back, according to the utility.

About 25,000 of 190,000 Detroit-based DTE Energy customers were blacked out. DTE Energy’s total outages Thursday included 40,000 that lost power after the initial storm. It expected all power to be restored by the weekend.

Temporary repairs have allowed power to be returned as quickly as possible to customers. Crews then go back to make permanent fixes, said Scott Simons, DTE Energy spokesman.

“Because the temperatures have been below freezing, it’s kept ice on trees and power lines,” Simons said. “That’s made the work more difficult and more dangerous. We find additional problems behind the original problems.”

Of about 40,000 original Lansing Board of Water & Light outages, only 4,157 customers still were without service, that utility said on its website. Fewer than 1,000 were projected to be without power by Sunday night.

But utility crews were bracing for more problems caused by potentially warmer temperatures today and Saturday. Warmer weather will cause ice on tree branches to melt. That ice could fall onto power lines.

“This is an issue we often see with ice storms,” Consumers Energy vice president for energy delivery Mary Palkovich said in a release. “It’s not unusual, but it is a challenge for our crews and our customers.”

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