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UPDATE: More line crews invited to Michigan to repair power lines


JACKSON (WKZO) -- Consumers Energy is now saying it may be Saturday before everyone has their power restored, but that could be revised.

As of 4:30 a.m. these are the numbers for the areas most affected by electric interruptions: Allegan (351); Barry (11,364); Calhoun (2,081); Clinton (6,385); Eaton (8,214); Genesee (32,368); Ingham (9,223); Ionia (2,013); Kalamazoo (265); Kent (1,269); Livingston (2,920); Oakland (1,804) and Shiawassee (10,583).

Crews have found making repairs a tougher slog than usual because of bitterly cold temperatures and thick ice which spokeswoman Debra Dodd says has slowed progress. They have also had a couple of accident.

She says just getting from one job to the next has been difficult. In fact one of their big repair trucks ended up on its side along I-96 near Marne in Ottawa County. The Highway was closed for several hours but has since repopened.

She says they have brought in 140 more crews from Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina, to make repairs in the Flint area. That’s 14-states and the District of Columbia that have now contributed crews.

The only thing that has been more anxiously awaited in some Michigan neighborhoods than Santa and his Reindeer this week are utility repair crews assigned to restore power to frosty homes that have been without power since Saturday.

Consumers spokesman Brian Wheeler says even in this cold, crews have been feeling the warmth. Not only do they get waves and smiles, but pizzas and cookies.

He says it’s been a difficult week for everyone involved, especially because of the Holiday.

One bit of good news, the windy conditions they feared might create new outages on Christmas day never occurred.