DETROIT (WWJ) – Ice storms caused hundreds of thousands of people throughout Michigan to lose power.

WWJ’s Beth Fisher reported 119,000 customers of DTE Energy lost power over the weekend; 83,000 were still in the dark Monday.

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Oxford, in northern Oakland County, was one of the hardest hit communities. Resident Diane Miller struggled with powerlessness all day Sunday.

“We were without our cable, that was the worst part, of course we missed the Lions game, but that was OK,” Diane Miller said, adding her son in Goodrich, also without power, is bringing over his family so they’ll have a longer Christmas visit than expected.

In Ortonville, a big branch fell on top of Jason Keith’s van Sunday morning. As of Monday, it was still covered in pine needles, and looked as if it was decorated for Christmas.

“Walk outside, you couldn’t go more than 30 seconds without hearing a limb snap,” Keith said.

DTE’s vice president of distribution operations, Trevor Lauer, says ice storms present significant problems.

“Ice storms are particularly tricky for the overhead lineman that have to work on the poles, in addition, you have a lot of trees breaking, so as the guys are back in the right of ways trying to access the damage – we have to be especially careful of trees continuing to break and fall – and as the tree branches that are covered with ice are going to continue to bring down power-lines,” he said.

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The majority of the power outages for DTE customers are in:
Oakland County: 52,000
Lapeer County: 28,000
Livingston County: 11,000

“In this type of storm your going to have a lot of weight on the poles and power-lines,” Lauer said, and it will help if the ice melts off of those power lines.

They’ve brought in help from other states, including Ohio, West Virginia, and Georgia.

Lauer says they have 450 linemen out working to restore power,

Consumers Energy has 155,000 customers without service statewide.

Power is expected to be restored by Christmas Eve.


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