Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Sunday

December 23, 2012

Many without power across state

DETROIT (AP) — About 30,000 homes and businesses across Michigan remained without power after a fast, wind-whipped winter storm dumped heavy snow on parts of the state.

Jackson-based Consumers Energy and Detroit-based DTE Energy mobilized crews Saturday to try to mop up the remaining outages.

Consumers Energy reported that 25,000 customers still were without electricity after 160,000 were impacted by the storm. Workers from Michigan, Ohio and Indiana were to be joined Saturday by crews from Illinois to help restore power, the utility said.

"We appreciate the patience of our customers as we get the upper hand on damage to our system now that this long-lasting storm has passed," said Garrick Rochow, Consumer Energy's vice president for energy delivery. "With the arrival of colder temperatures, in areas where power outages remain, we encourage residents to help neighbors who may need special assistance, including infants, the elderly or people with disabilities."

By late Saturday morning, nearly 4,900 Consumers Energy customers in Leelanau County were without electricity. Allegan, Benzie and Manistee counties each had more than 3,000 customers without power.

DTE Energy spokesman Scott Simons said only 5,000 or so customers still were without electricity Saturday. Its 43,000 total outages had been scattered across southeastern Michigan. All customers were expected to have service restored sometime Saturday, Simons added.

The storm, which arrived in Michigan on Thursday, was part of a system that began in the Rockies earlier in the week and has been blamed for deaths in at least five states. A 71-year-old man was killed Friday in St. Clair County when a Jeep lost control on a snow-covered road and slammed into his pickup.

Between 1 and 3 inches of snow fell across the Detroit area Friday after many places received more than an inch of rain the day before, according to the National Weather Service in White Lake Township. Temperatures on Saturday afternoon hovered around freezing.

The heaviest snowfall — a foot or more in some areas — was in the northern Lower Peninsula, Upper Peninsula and western part of the state, according to the weather service.

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