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Thousands will have to wait until after Christmas to get their electricity restored in Michigan

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio
This home in Lansing is just one of tens of thousands that lost power after ice-laden tree limbs broke power lines on Sunday

It will be Saturday at least before electricity is restored to all the Michigan homes and businesses that lost power in Sunday’s ice storm.

The storm knocked out power to almost a half million Michiganders.  About 300,000 are still waiting for their electricity to be turned back on. 

Brian Wheeler is a Consumers Energy spokesman.  He says about a third of the nearly 200,000 Consumers Energy customers without electricity are in Flint and Genesee County

“Genesee County has more than 60,000 outages.  That’s three times as many as than any other county.  That’s just going to take longer,” says Wheeler.

Wheeler says the Christmas holiday has been a problem.

“Some people are not going to be able to help because they are on vacation…out of state.   You can’t ask somebody who’s in Florida to come back here,” says Wheeler.

Still, Wheeler says Consumers expects a large contingent of utility workers from other states will arrive in Michigan tomorrow.

78,000 DTE customers and 24,000 Lansing Board of Water and Light customers are also waiting for their electricity to be restored.  

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.
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