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44,000 Consumers Energy customers still in the dark

The ice storm was Sunday, but it may tomorrow or Friday before the last Consumers Energy customer who lost power will get their electricity restored.   195,000 thousand CMS utility customers lost power after the storm that dumped a half foot or more of snow and ice on Michigan at the beginning of the week. 

About 44,000 are still without power, says  Garrick Rochow, vice president of energy delivery for the utility:

"Because of the significant damage this storm has caused to our electric system, including ice and snow affecting thousands of electric lines, it is taking considerably more time to restore service...We are very concerned that our customers remain safe and warm until power can be restored, and are working cooperatively with a number of agencies such as the American Red Cross in the hardest hit southern counties.”

The approximate numbers of Consumers Energy electric customers remaining without service in the following counties are as follows:  Branch (5,000); Calhoun (4,500); Hillsdale (8,500); Jackson (500); Kalamazoo (5,500); Lenawee (13,000); Monroe (6,100) and St. Joseph (1,000).

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.