Power Outages Plague Local Community

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Living in rural Michigan, people become accustomed to minor inconveniences like driving miles for a gallon of milk.

But some rural Consumers Energy customers are dealing with what they say is becoming a major inconvenience: power outages for no apparent reason.

"They went off a couple of times this week," says Alaiedon Township resident Janet Dieter.

"They've been going on for some time," says another neighbor, Pauline Stanton. "

Stanton has lived in her rural Alaiedon Township home since 1964. She's had to purchase a back-up generator because of all the power outages, which she finds inexplicable.

"It's getting annoying," she says. "It's getting very annoying."

The power outages keep happening on a rural stretch of Holt Road near Dobie, and they often happen on beautiful days with no bad weather. That's what baffles neighbors the most.

"What's really causing it, I don't know-- but I do think there's something they can do," Stanton says.

So we asked Consumers Energy why this is happening. Spokesman Terry DeDoes had a few explanations.

"There are tree issues, equipment failure... sometimes lightning has hit and we won't see the effects until weeks later."

Officially the area had seven outages total last year. Tthis year, they're already up to six, though neighbors say there have been more that have gone unreported. But DeDoes promises line-repairing projects are underway to fix the unreliable lines.

"We do expect a marked improvement in electricity reliability by September when the projects finish," he says.

But with the hottest months just on the horizon, that deadline is just a tiny light at the end of the tunnel.

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