DETROIT (WWJ) – Nearly a week after a severe ice storm battered southeast Michigan, thousands of homes and businesses still remain without power.
As of Friday afternoon, fewer than 60,000 power outages remained — down from an estimated 598,000 homes and businesses that lost service across the state. A majority of the outages are in Genesee and Lapeer counties.
DTE Energy said they were dealing with about 11,500 outages in the metro Detroit area, down from 150,000 total customers that lost power. A spokesperson said crews have been working around the clock, but have been delayed by the extent of damage, power lines continuing to fall and icy working conditions.
In addition to the initial power outages caused by the ice storm, DTE said wintry weather over the past few days caused another 40,000 homes and businesses to lose power. DTE said their best estimate is that the majority of customers will have power restored by Saturday.
Meantime, Consumers Energy said about 52,000 of their customers remain without service, down from more than 377,000 total outages. Spokesperson Debra Dodd said it’s the largest Christmas-week storm in the company’s 126-year history and the worse ice storm in 10 years.
Dodd said the majority of customers still without power are expected to be restored by the end of the day Saturday, but restoration times may be affected by additional storm activity causing more damage.
Both utilities say linemen from several other states have traveled to Michigan to help restoration efforts. Those crews are working 16-hour shifts, around the clock, to get the lights turned back on.