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Ice storms knock out power to 412,000 in Michigan

December 22, 2013 • Business


Two girls have to walk around downed trees in Lansing, Mich. on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. Winter arrived in Michigan with an icy blast, sending freezing rain across a wide section of the Lower Peninsula and knocking out electrical service to at last 294,000 homes and businesses. The state’s largest utilities say it will be days before most of those blacked out get their power back because of the difficulty of working around ice-broken lines. (AP Photo/Lansing [auth] State Journal, Robert Killips)

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — Winter arrived in Michigan with an icy blast, dropping freezing rain across a wide section of the Lower Peninsula, knocking out electrical service to at least 412,000 homes and businesses and causing multiple crashes, authorities said Sunday.

The state’s largest utilities said it will be days before most regain electricity because of the difficulty of working around ice-broken lines.

Jackson-based CMS Energy Corp. said at their outage’s peak, 250,000 customers lost service; 205,000 remained offline Sunday night.

“We have crews coming from Indiana, Kentucky and other states to help supplement our own workforce and in-state contractors,” company Vice President Mary Palkovich said in a statement. “We appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to safely restore power.”

Detroit-based DTE Energy Co. said work is underway to restore service to 119,000 blacked-out customers, down from about 137,000 since the storms hit.

The Lansing Board of Water & Light said 25,000 of its customers lost service, with 21,000 remained blacked out Sunday afternoon, the Lansing State Journal reported.

The ice has made travel hazardous, and WZZM-TV said more than 100 churches canceled Sunday services in western Michigan alone.

The sheriff’s department in central Michigan’s Clinton County said Sunday night it was opening warming centers in DeWitt, Maple Rapids and Bath Township for people who lost their power or heat in the storms.

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