Safety concerns remain as Jackson residents clean up after storm

“When crap like this hits, you know we gotta help each other out”
Things are starting to improve, but there's still lots of work to be done.
Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 7:18 PM EST
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JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) - As the ice storm swept across Mid-Michigan, nearly 1,000 crews from both Consumers Energy and DTE were on standby for power restoration. The crews have already started cleaning up Thursday, but they’ve got their work cut out for them.

Read: Winter storm knocks out power to hundreds of thousands of Michiganders

Nearly every street in Jackson had downed branches, trees, power lines or a combination of the three. One man said they are not expected to get power restored until this coming Tuesday.

Many people spent Thursday getting their property cleaned up, but others spent the day helping their loved ones and neighbors. Whether people were clearing branches, setting up generators, or welcoming those without power into their homes, cleaning up for this storm is a group effort.

Now with high winds forecasted for Thursday evening, Consumers Energy is stressing safety precautions and patience.

”We’re going to work around the clock until we’re done. I think we’ll have a large number, if not the majority, of customers restored through the day on Sunday,” said Greg Salisbury, with Consumers Energy. “There will still be some customers in the hard-hit areas that we’ll be working on on Monday for sure.”

One branch at a time, Jackson is picking up the pieces.

“It’s been difficult because you can’t flush the toilets, and can’t take a shower. When you come out you hear banging and trees just fallin’ over. Branches everywhere,” said Jackson resident David Marr.

As branches snapped and trees fell over on Wednesday night, people were left in the dark.

“I’m taking a generator to my girlfriend’s daughter, who just had a newborn, so, can’t have a house without heat,” said Dan Hanson, another Jackson resident.

Many people are keeping their loved ones warm by braving the cold and ice.

“Just out here at my ex-wife’s and my daughters helping them clean up out here,” said Marr.

As Consumers Energy anticipates some people will be without power until Monday, they have called in for extra help.

“We’re bringing our crews from the northern part of the state down into the damaged areas, we’re bringing crews from out of state up into the damaged areas,” said Salisbury.

While some are lucky to have their power restored, the community is ready to lend a helping hand with cleaning up the damage.

“Because that’s what it’s all about, helping each other. When crap like this hits, you know we gotta help each other out,” Hanson said.

Remember; If you see or suspect a downed power line, stay at least 25 feet away and keep children and pets away. If you see a downed power line, call 911 before contacting Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050, the Lansing Board of Water and Light at 877-295-5001 or DTE Energy at 800-947-5000.

Always assume a wire is dangerous, even if it’s lying still.

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