Utility Crews Working Through the Holiday

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LANSING (WILX)-- What better Christmas gift than the sight of a utility crew showing up in your neighborhood. It's been enough to bring some people to tears.

"I told them thanks for doing this, we appreciate it. They just said 'awe this is nothing fella we do this all the time,'" said Jim Kruse.

"I'm so grateful, especially being Christmas. People take for granted everyday what we do have," said Harold Keniston.

Keniston and Kruse had utility crews show up on Christmas to restore their power. The wait hasn't been easy. Restoration has been slow going, and there have been set backs.

"We lost some power last night, we gained some power last night. This is a storm we haven't seen in decades," said Stephen Serkaian, spokesperson for BWL.

BWL won't meet their deadline of finishing up Christmas day like they hoped but they plan to be down to 5,000 customers.

Consumers Energy is still predicting it'll be Saturday before they finish.

"As you can see we are making great progress. We are still having outages occur because the ice hasn't left the trees yet," said Mary Palkovich, Consumers Energy Vice President.

Even with the threat of severe weather, the crews will not stop working. If it gets bad the plan is to bring the buckets down and continue with ground work.

"There's plenty of work to do even on the ground," said Palkovich.

Even with good weather, fixing the lines is a dangerous task. There have been injuries.

"We did have an employee in a vehicle accident, and we had a bucket truck go in the ditch. We did have a contractor get a broken nose from a fallen tree branch," said Palkovich.

"They have bee working around the clock. I don't know how they do it, but I'm very grateful," said Keniston.

Consumers has been adding crews every day from out of state trying to speed things up. More from Georgia and Wisconsin expected Thursday, bringing the number of crews on the ground in mid-michigan to more than 400.


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