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Here's how Michiganders who lost power during the wind storm are getting by

Mar 11, 2017

About 400,000 homes and businesses in Michigan were still without electricity Friday night – after high winds knocked out power to much of the state on Wednesday.


Jackson Shockey is seven years old. He lives in Westland, Michigan with his mom and dad, Joe and Rachel Shockey, and his older brother Lucian.

Jackson’s sitting on a black couch in his living room, next to a table scattered with playing cards. He says so far the blackout’s been kind of cool.

"Well it's kind of like camping, but in your house kind of, with a lot of candles and a lot more light," he said

Lucian and Jackson have been using this time without TV or video games to practice the violin.

There’s also a bass guitar, a guitar case, and pages of sheet music laying around the living room. When playing music gets old, the whole family plays card games to pass the time.

The Shockeys have been able to stay home without power because they have a wood-burning stove to heat food and stay warm.

Rachel Shockey addeds wood to the stove to keep the house warm.
Credit Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Some people don't have that option. That's why cities like Detroit have opened warming centers for people to get out of the cold and power up their cell phones.

Caleb Claudio is a Wayne State University student and volunteer with the American Red Cross.

"Anyone who has infants, anyone who has maybe elderly family members just so they can come in here, we provide them food and water and other drinks for them, and a place to sleep," Claudio said.

Claudio is stationed at a warming center in northwest Detroit. He says on Thursday evening people were trickling in.

"But we found that as it got later, more people were coming in, finding out that it was a bit more challenging than they had hoped," Claudio said.

During the daytime, some people have found other ways to deal with the power outage.

Hundreds of schools were closed Thursday and Friday.

Rachel Shockey shuffles cards on her table.
Credit Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Melissa Macavage is from Bloomfield Hills. She checked into a Hampton Inn in Ann Arbor Friday with her three daughters, ages 8, 12 and 14.

Macavage says she and her daughters have been moving around a lot the last couple of days.

“Driving around, going from the library to bookstores. My children haven’t had school for the last two days, because the school has been out as well," Macavage said. "We have a membership at Lifetime, so we’re able to shower there. Just trying to keep busy and stay warm. Anywhere there’s a phone charger, that’s where we were.”

Macavage says all in all, her daughters have been dealing with the situation well.

“They’ve been troopers, they’ve been great, but we’re just kind of missing our routine and just normalcy, that’s all," Macavage said. "They’ve been reading a lot of books, and that’s great, but they’re even kind of tired of that.”

Consumers Energy says it expects to have power restored to the "vast majority" of its customers by midnight Saturday.

DTE Energy, which supplies power to millions of people in Michigan, says the outages should be fixed by early next week.