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Blue Christmas for tens of thousands of Michiganders without electricity

Consumer's Energy
Brrr! About 150,000 Michiganders still waiting for their electricity to be turned back on

About 150 thousand Michigan utility customers have spent another cold day waiting for their electricity to be restored.    

Sunday’s ice storm left almost a half million Michigan homes and businesses without electricity. 

As of midday, approximately 125,000 Consumer’s Energy customers were still without electricity.  About 20,000 DTE Energy customers and 7,000 Lansing Board of Water & Light customers were still in the dark as well.

Debra Dodd is a Consumer’s Energy spokeswoman.  She says linemen are doing the best job they can in very cold conditions.

“A normal job that might take them 15 minutes is taking them twice or three times as long because things are frozen and whole pieces of equipment need to be replaced,” Dodd. 

Adding to the problem, high winds in Michigan today may knock down more ice-laden tree limbs, which in turn may knockdown more power lines. 

Dodd says it may take until sometime late Saturday or Sunday before Consumer’s Energy restores electricity to the last of its customers who lost power during last Sunday’s ice storm.

DTE and Lansing Board of Water & Light expect to restore power to their customers by later tonight or sometime Friday. 

Many people are turning to generators to stay warm.  But Debra Dodd with Consumer’s Energy urges people to be careful.

“The longer this outage goes on, the more people might use a generator.  And we just want to caution customers that generators are never supposed to be used in an enclosed area, such as a garage or a basement, they should always be outside of your home,” says Dodd.

A Clinton County man using a generator to heat his home has died from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Several other people have been hospitalized since the power outage began.

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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