91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Power outages may go on for days amid freezing cold temperatures

Freezing rain is wreaking havoc on roads in Southeast Michigan Friday morning
Freezing rain is wreaking havoc on roads in Southeast Michigan Friday morning

Power outages for more than one hundred thousand Michiganders could continue for several more days. Authorities are scrambling to respond to a growing emergency.

The Red Cross has opened shelters in West Michigan for people who can't stay in their homes, and they're warning people to be careful with alternative heat sources like kerosene heaters if they hunker down in their homes. Improperly vented heaters can release dangerous fumes. Electric heaters, fireplaces, and candles could start a fire if left unattended.

Vicki Eichstadt is with the Michigan Red Cross.

"Last night our shelter count between our four managed shelters was thirty-one people. We expect that number to increase and we're prepared to have more folks," says Eichstadt. More shelters may be opened if demand exceeds expectations.

The shelters opened by the Red Cross do not allow pets other than service animals. The Kent County Animal Shelter is providing free boarding for pets for those seeking shelter at Ottawa Hills High School, Union High School, North Rockford Middle School, and the Walker Fire Department. According to the county, residents should seek other pet boarding options first, because space is limited at the animal shelter.

Catherine Shaffer joined Michigan Radio in 2014. She works in the newsroom and specializes in stories related to the life sciences, health, and technology. Catherine earned a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Michigan State University and a Master’s from University of Michigan. Prior to Michigan Radio, Catherine has worked as a freelance writer, mainly in focusing on biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry, since 2001. She is also an award-winning fiction writer. When not at work, Catherine enjoys being in the outdoors and practicing yoga.