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West Michigan could have more power outages this week

Bridge and frozen river in Portland, MI
Courtesy of Jessica Dorsky
Portland, MI, is in Ionia County, which was one of the areas hit hardest by last week's ice storm.

West Michigan residents are expecting another winter storm, and that could mean more power outages.

More than 230,000 people in Michigan lost power last week, most of them living on the west side of the state. Restoration crews have been working around the clock to remove tree branches and fix power lines.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for the city of Grand Rapids over the weekend due to last week's winter weather.

The National Weather Service is predicting west Michigan will get about five inches of snow between Monday night and Wednesday morning. Freezing rain, which contributed heavily to the number of downed power lines last week, is also a possibility.

Katie Carey, a spokeswoman for Consumers Energy, says residents should make sure to keep their phones charged and keep flashlights nearby.

“So that if you do lose power, and if it’s in the middle of the night or it’s dark, you will be able to have those things at your fingertips,” Carey said.

Carey says the utility has requested one hundred additional out-of-state crew members “to respond to restorations if we need it, starting on Wednesday morning.”

Carey says there are currently fewer than 800 homes without power, and most of them are in Ionia County, between Lansing and Grand Rapids.

Darwin Baas, Director of the Kent County Department of Public Works, says the outages haven’t stopped any operations, but did delay some.

“With several waste haulers canceling routes on the coldest days and icy roads, we did extend our Saturday hours to accommodate them,” Baas said.

Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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