JACKSON, Mich. (AP) - Winter has arrived in Michigan with an icy blast, sending freezing rain across a wide section of the Lower Peninsula, knocking out electrical service to at least 382,000 homes and businesses and causing multiple crashes around the state.
The state's largest utilities say it will be days before most of those blacked out get their power back because of the difficulty of working around ice-broken lines.
Jackson-based CMS Energy Corp. says 245,000 of its power customers lost service, and 207,000 remained off line Sunday evening. Detroit-based DTE Energy Co. says work is underway to restore service to 119,000 blacked-out customers out of about 137,000 affected since the storms hit.
The National Weather Service says snow is falling Sunday in some areas, with temperatures in the mid-teens to upper 30s.
ORIGINAL POST: 4:07 pm
Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders face the possibility of a Christmas without electricity.
Today's ice storm that hit Michigan left trees coated with a thick layer of ice that broke tree limbs and took down power lines.
Consumers Energy says 155,000 customers are still without power. DTE reports 119,000 of its customers don’t have electricity.
A quarter of Lansing Board of Water and Light customers lost electricity in the storm, including Mayor Virg Bernero.
The mayor says a few days without power shouldn’t ruin people’s holiday plans.
“I think people can still have a great holiday. You might be in a little closer quarters. ..in with a couple members of your family. And it’s going to be a little different,” says Bernero.
The worst may not be behind us. Falling temperatures will keep the ice from melting. So there is a chance there will be more power outages in the days ahead.