Crews work to restore power after ice storms leave thousands of Michiganders in the dark
To help restore power for roughly 380,000 of its customers impacted over the past week, four other states have been assisting Consumers Energy.
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Tens of thousands of people remain without power after ice storms last Wednesday and again yesterday. Now, Attorney General Dana Nessel is calling on the state’s utility companies to credit those customers.
To help restore power for roughly 380,000 of its customers impacted over the past week, four other states have been assisting Consumers Energy. The power company also said crews have been working extended 16-hour shifts to get customers restored as quickly and safely as possible. However, 60,000 customers across Michigan are still without power.
The spokesman for Consumer’s Energy, Terry DeDoes, said “crews have restored more than 11,000 downed wires.”
To reduce the number of people impacted by outages, he said they’re working on a five-year, $5 billion plan to strengthen their system.
“Ice has always been the biggest nemesis to our electric system,” DeDoes said. “It does a lot of damage when it comes through. Just a half inch of ice on a power line is like dropping a grand piano on that line.”
DeDoes said that last year, Consumers Energy replaced power poles, breakers, and lines.
“In fact, the results of what we did last year already has had an impact,” DeDoes said. “It’s reduced the number of outages we had last year by 20% and it decreased the amount of time our customers were without power when they did experience an outage.”
To prevent outages in the future, DeDoes said they’ve also added technology that automatically senses where the problem is.
“It will open and close switches to isolate that area and then bring in power from other sources so that the number of customers impacted is reduced,” he said.
According to their website, if your service has been interrupted for more than 120 hours (five days) during catastrophic conditions, more than 16 hours during normal conditions, or 8 or more times in a 12-month period, you may qualify for a customer outage credit.
Despite restoring power to the majority of customers since last week’s ice storm, there are still some scattered power outages in southern Jackson County and throughout Hillsdale County. Consumers Energy said they expect to have the vast majority of these remaining outages fixed by tomorrow.
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