*** UPDATE ***As of 11:30 a.m. Friday, approximately 46,000 Consumers Energy customers remained without service. Since noon Saturday, Dec. 21, the storm has caused more than 380,700 outages, or more than 21 percent of the utilityâ??s 1.8 million electric customers. Counties most affected by electric interruptions were: Barry (6,465); Calhoun (556); Clinton (3,266); Eaton (3,476); Genesee (16,765); Ingham (3,285); Ionia (1,887); Kent (293); Livingston (1,765); Oakland (1,492) and Shiawassee (7,428).
*** END UPDATE ***
About 64,000 Michigan homes and offices remain without power after a weekend ice storm struck much of the state. Jackson-based Consumers Energy said outages were down Friday morning to 52,000 from 377,000 total customers that lost power. About 9,000 of Detroit-based DTE Energy customers were blacked out, and total outages included 40,000 that lost power after the initial storm. Of about 40,000 original Lansing Board of Water & Light outages, only 2,600 customers still are without service.
Since noon Saturday, the storm has caused more than 377,000 outages, or more than 20 percent of the utilityâ??s 1.8 million electric customers. It is the companyâ??s largest Christmas-week storm in its 126-year history and its worse ice storm in 10 years.
As of Friday morning, counties most affected by electric interruptions were: Barry (6,754); Calhoun (739); Clinton (3,600); Eaton (3,782); Genesee (19,972); Ingham (4,156); Ionia (1,909); Kalamazoo (187); Kent (313); Livingston (1,664); Oakland (1,547) and Shiawassee (7,031).
The utilities expect the power to be restored to most customers by this weekend. Crews are bracing for more problems caused by rising temperatures Friday and Saturday. Warmer weather will cause ice on tree branches to melt, and that ice could fall onto power lines.
â??We continue our focus on safely restoring all customers affected by this storm,â?? said Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energyâ??s vice president of customer operations and quality said in a news release sent to NBC 25. â??We have accomplished a great deal but we know the job is not done yet. We thank our customers for their patience.â??
Consumers Energy is reminding the public that information is available online to check on the status of remaining outages. People can report outages and obtain restoration information through Consumers Energyâ??s online outage map. The map may be accessed by both computers and mobile devices.
Additional information â?? including answers to frequently asked questions -- is available at Consumers Energyâ??s online outage center.
Utility linemen brave cold, ice to restore power
Thousands of electrical workers are enduring cold temperatures and icy conditions in order to restore power to homes and businesses from Michigan to Maine. Last weekend's ice storm left well over a half-million total in the U.S. and Canada in the dark.
More than 3,000 field and office employees from Consumers Energy, Michigan-based contractors and workers from 13 states and Washington, D.C. are focused on storm restoration.
VIEW: Pictures from Consumers Energy of crews restoring power Many linemen have worked double shifts daily and missed Christmas with their families to lower that number considerably. It's dangerous work. Some of the utility workers shimmy up ice-slicked utility poles with the help of spiked boots and a belt. And others spoke of hearing heavily iced tree branches creaking and hoping those wouldn't fall on them.
Reduce risks of carbon monoxide poisoning: Home generator safety is critical. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that is potentially fatal. Never use a generator indoors, in a garage, basement or near any air intakes and never fuel a generator when it is running. Ensure that it is properly connected by a licensed electrician and, for the safety of line workers and first responders, make certain it is isolated from the utilityâ??s electric distribution system.People should never use ovens, propane grills, etc. to heat their homes, because it could cause potentially fatal CO poisoning. Purchasing CO detectors is strongly recommended. Symptoms of CO poisoning often mimic the flu, and include headaches, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath and stinging or burning of the eyes. Prolonged exposure can cause disorientation, convulsions, unconsciousness and ultimately death.
Drivers should use extreme caution in areas without power: Some road intersections have non-working traffic signals. Stop at intersections and make sure it is safe to proceed before entering the intersection or crossing a railroad line. Michigan law requires that these intersections be considered four-way stops. The public also should be alert to utility crews working along roads.
Downed wire safety: This storm has produced a record number of downed power lines. If you see a downed wire, stay 25 feet away and call 1-800-477-5050 immediately. Never touch anything a power line may be touching.
Keep pipes from freezing: With continued cold temperatures, residents without power who have municipal-provided water are encouraged to open their faucets for a constant drip to help keep pipes from freezing.
Customers who lose electricity for an extended period of time can dial 2-1-1 to receive emergency shelter information or to request assistance. Before going to a shelter, residents are asked to contact their local emergency management office to confirm the availability of services. A list of warming shelters currently operated by the American Red Cross.
Shiawassee County remains under a State of Emergency. The following shelters are open for residents who don't have power or heat in their homes:
Community Center in Corunna 457 Emma Drive, Corunna (Norton North of M-71) in Hugh McCurdy ParkHours: December 27th 6:00 AM â?? 10 PMOffering: Warmth, showers, coffee, snacks and waterBring: Own toiletries, towels, and personal items (medications, kids games)
Salvation Army 302 E. Exchange St. OwossoHours: 24/7Offering: Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacksWhat to bring: Identification
Corunna High School 417 E. King St., CorunnaHours: 24/7Offering: Warmth, Shower, MealsBring: Identification, toiletries (towels, soap), personal items (medication, games for kids)Handicap Accessible
Shiawassee County Emergency Management encourages residents in the county to check on elderly neighbors, special needs individuals, and family members who have limited mobility to see if they need assistance. If unable to make contact with an individual and no movement around the home can be seen please call 9-1-1 to have a check on their welfare conducted. Please assist any individuals in need of getting additional assistance. Warming shelters and transportation are available. Please contact 989-743-2630 for additional assistance.
(Information provided by NBC 25 staff reports, Consumers Energy, Shiawassee County Emergency Management, and the Associated Press)