The grueling winter weather has hit the state of Michigan with a vengeance as an ice storm has already wreaked havoc on more than 300,000 residents state-wide. The storm’s freezing rainfall and icy temperatures have spread across a vast region of the Lower Peninsula, causing the state-wide electrical service outages.
Michigan’s largest utility companies have predicted that outages may last for several days, as power restoration will be difficult due to the ice-broken lines. WZZM13 reports that CMS Energy Corporation of Jackson, MI has projected that approximately 175,000 of their customers are currently without power, and at least 155,000 are still off line due to the ice storm.
As of 5:00 a.m. ET on Monday, the latest power outage breakdown is as follows:
Great Lakes Energy:
- Allegan County: 182
- Barry County: 1,916
- Allegan County: 4,668
- Barry County: 17,851
- Calhoun County: 10,837
- Ionia County: 5,681
- Kalamazoo County: 4,714
- Kent County: 20,407
- Montcalm County: 1,722
- Ottawa County: 1,715
According to Consumers Energy, the ice storm has left approximately 72% of their customers in Barry County without power. While energy crews are working around the clock to restore services, unfortunately it appears that many will spend the Christmas holiday in the dark. It is projected that most residents in Kent County, MI could actually be without power until Thursday, December 26, while residents in other West Michigan areas may not see power restoration until Saturday, December 28.
Additional energy crews have been called in from Kentucky and Indiana assist local workers repair the damage around the Lower Michigan region, where Consumer Energy specialist have categorized problems as catastrophic.
An estimated 300 additional workers have also been dispatched to assist the 1,500 energy employees and independent contractors in Grand Rapids, MI.
WoodTV also reports that a projected restoration schedule has been issued for Tuesday, December 24 to Saturday December 28:
- Tuesday: Allegan and northern Kent counties
- Wednesday: Ionia, Montcalm and eastern Kent counties
- Thursday: Kalamazoo County, western Kent County and greater Grand Rapids area
- Friday: Barry and Calhoun counties
- Saturday: Some portions of Ottawa County
The National Weather Service projects temperatures in the mid-teens to upper 30s for Monday, December 23.