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Cleaning up after the storm

UPDATE 3:50pm 

Approximately 90,000 Consumers Energyelectric customers are without service due to the winter storm that began early Sunday afternoon.  Since that time, more than 176,000 customers have been affected by weather-related outages. The approximate numbers of Consumers Energy electric customers remaining without service in the following counties are as follows:  Allegan (370); Barry (150): Branch (7,600); Calhoun (9,700); Hillsdale (12,500); Jackson (700); Kalamazoo (28,300); Lenawee (19,000); Monroe (10,400); St. Joseph (1,850) and Van Buren (70). 


It could be Friday before tens of thousands of Michigan electric utility customers get their power turned back on.   An ice storm knocked out power for almost 200 thousand mainly Consumers Energy customers this week.   Now, the thaw is causing more problems.   The Associated Press reports the work of restoring power, especially in west Michigan is expected to drag on for several days:

Most of the 103,000 utility customers who remain without power in southern Michigan after a winter storm swept through the state are expected to remain blacked out for at least two more days. Consumers Energy spokesman Tim Pietryga said in a statement Tuesday that most of the Jackson-based utility's customers without power are in Kalamazoo, Lenawee, Monroe, Hillsdale, Calhoun and Branch counties.

The problem is particularly bad in the city of Kalamazoo.   The Kalamazoo Gazette reports utility crews are trying to repair a patchwork of downed powerlines:

Around 130 interruptions in power lines have been repaired in Consumers' entire service area since Monday....including 90 in the Kalamazoo service area, which is all of Kalamazoo County and small parts of Allegan and Barry counties. There are 577 powerline interruptions left to repair in the Kalamazoo service area.

 Six to 10 inches of snow, along with sleet and ice, fell on Lower Michigan between Sunday and Monday.


Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.