ice storm

Business
11:17 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Michigan's winter weather also chilling business

46% of Michigan retailers report their sales were down last month, compared to January 2013. Only 30% said their cash registers were busier.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The brutal winter weather is taking a toll on Michigan retailers.

A major ice storm just before Christmas resulted in poor overall holiday season sales for many Michigan stores.

The brutally cold January that followed was just as bad, according to a new report by the Michigan Retailers Association, which says 46% of retailers report their sales were down last month, compared to January 2013. Only 30% said their cash registers were busier.

The gloom created by slow sales may carry over into the rest of the year.

Weather
10:39 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Faulty communication system partly blamed for confusion after December ice storm

Many BWL customers spent part of the Christmas holidays in the dark after an ice storm knocked out power.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

An internal report finds a key communication system that failed during December’s ice storm had been malfunctioning for months before the storm.

The Lansing Board of Water and Light released the findings of an internal review of its response to the storm last night.  More than 35,000 BWL customers lost power, some for as long as 10 days.

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Weather
5:59 am
Tue February 18, 2014

BWL to release findings of internal probe into ice storm response

The Dec. 22 ice storm knocked out power to about 40% of the Board of Water & Light's customers
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The panel that oversees the Lansing Board of Water and Light this evening will review the findings of a "top-to-bottom" internal probe of the utility’s response to a devastating December ice storm.

The Dec. 22 ice storm knocked out electricity to more than 35,000 BWL customers. It took the utility more than a week to get the lights back on.

Customers complain the utility was slow to respond to the outage, and even slower to respond to their telephone calls.

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Weather
3:26 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

As the ice and snow melts, we'll find out what lies beneath

When a late December ice storm ripped through mid-Michigan, falling tree branches knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes in Lansing. The power’s back on, but many of the tree branches remain buried by the snow that has fallen since.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Temperatures are expected to hit 40 degrees in the coming week in Michigan.

The warm up should begin to melt off some of the snow that has built up over the past few months.

But the melting snow is also expected to reveal mounds of fallen tree branches, discarded Christmas trees and garbage that has been entombed in mounds of snow and ice since December.

Paul Dykema is the assistant superintendent in the city of Lansing’s Public Service Department.  He says cleaning that mess up will take some time.

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Weather
6:12 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Harsh winter taking a toll on Michigan wildlife

A DNR official says the next few weeks may be especially critical to Michigan’s songbirds, pheasants, and turkeys.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Michigan wildlife is struggling this winter, just like the state’s human population.

State wildlife officials say the next few weeks will be critical for Michigan deer, pheasants, and other animals.

As the days grow longer, animals become more active. Their metabolisms pick up and they need to forage for more food.

But when the snow is several feet deep, and a layer of ice coats normal food sources, finding enough food can be a problem.

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Weather
1:21 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Michigan utility crews waiting to be called to help restore power in the south and northeast

Linemen worked for more than a week to restore power to tens of thousands of Michiganders during the holidays.
Consumers Energy

Consumers Energy and DTE are waiting to hear from electric utilities in the south and east that are bearing the brunt of a strong winter storm this week.

Tens of thousands of people in the Deep South have already lost power from the storm that is raining down large amounts of ice and snow in places that rarely see either.

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Weather
6:15 am
Tue February 11, 2014

MSU professor assessing the toll of December's ice storm on trees

Professor Frank Telewski says about 5% of the trees on MSU’s north campus were damaged by the unusually heavy ice that coated tree branches during the Dec. 22 storm.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The late December ice storm that knocked out power to more than half a million Michigan utility customers also damaged many of the state’s trees.

A preliminary study being released today takes a look at that damage.

Professor Frank Telewski was busy Monday, crunching numbers for his presentation today to a conference of state arborists.

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Business
10:10 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Lansing BWL officials face critics of last month's major power outage response

Lansing Board of Water and Light officials, including General Manager J. Peter Lark (far left), heard from critics and supporters alike during the meeting
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Lansing Board of Water and Light officials are defending their heavily criticized response to last month’s major power outage.

BWL customers like Alice Dreger are livid over having to wait more than a week for their power to be turned back on.

"Let me tell you, when you have live wires down for nine to 12 days, safety is not job one,” Dreger told a packed meeting last night at BWL’s headquarters.

But a majority of those taking the podium praised the work of BWL employees. Most were BWL employees and officials, though a few were BWL customers.

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Business
9:00 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Lansing BWL officials to discuss what went wrong after December's ice storm

40% of BWL customers lost power in the Dec. 22nd ice storm. Many had to wait up to 11 days to have their power turned back on.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

In the midst of the current weather crisis, Lansing utility officials plan to spend time tonight trying to figure out what went wrong during the last weather crisis in the capitol city.

Two weeks ago, an ice storm knocked out power to 40% of Lansing Board of Water and Light customers.

Many customers grew very angry as they waited for more than a week to get their electricity turned back on. That anger only grew worse when it was learned that the man in charge of the city’s utility left town during the outage to spend time with his family in New York.

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Environment & Science
9:12 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

Power back for Consumers Energy, DTE customers, but some LBWL customers still wait

Finally. 

The lights are back on, and the heat is warming the house, for the roughly 670,000 Consumers Energy and DTE customers who lost electricity from a severe ice storm.

"It was one of the worst storms in our history," says Debra Dodd of Consumers Energy.

Heavy ice brought down hundreds of lines, and in some cases, pulled the poles down with it.

Dodd says customers were patient, understanding and grateful to the line crews, who worked 16-hour days to repair the damage.

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Culture
6:27 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Lack of power, freezing temperatures taking a toll on many Michigan families

Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

There are still an estimated 29,300 customers without power in Michigan today (Saturday) after a major ice storm last weekend. The lack of power and freezing temperatures are beginning to take their toll on many families.

Sara Scott, her husband and their three-year-old son have been staying at her in-laws since Monday. She says her husband is worried that the pipes are going to freeze or that someone’s going to break into their home in Lansing. Plus, she’s two months pregnant.

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Ice storm
3:46 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

As new ice storm worries loom, customers find ways to cope

This was Christmas dinner at the Putnam house
Judy Putnam

There are times when warm weather is not a good thing, and this is one such time.

Brian Wheeler is with Consumers Energy.  He says the severe ice storm that struck a big portion of the state early Sunday left extremely heavy ice on the trees.

"The ice has been pushing trees and tree limbs into different positions," says Wheeler.  "A rapid melt could cause them to snap back into a different position pretty quickly too, and as they move suddenly, they could interfere with power lines yet again."

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Offbeat
1:42 pm
Wed December 25, 2013

Blue Christmas for tens of thousands of Michiganders without electricity

Brrr! About 150,000 Michiganders still waiting for their electricity to be turned back on
Consumer's Energy

About 150 thousand Michigan utility customers have spent another cold day waiting for their electricity to be restored.    

Sunday’s ice storm left almost a half million Michigan homes and businesses without electricity. 

As of midday, approximately 125,000 Consumer’s Energy customers were still without electricity.  About 20,000 DTE Energy customers and 7,000 Lansing Board of Water & Light customers were still in the dark as well.

Debra Dodd is a Consumer’s Energy spokeswoman.  She says linemen are doing the best job they can in very cold conditions.

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Ice storm
5:51 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Ice storm followed by high winds could mean more bad news

Power lines
Christoper Sessums Flickr

High winds are forecast for Wednesday.

And that could slow down the work to restore power to thousands of people after the weekend's severe ice storm.

The storm's path went through Lansing, Owosso and Flint.

Mary Palkovich is with Consumers Energy.

"This is the worst storm that Consumers Energy has had during Christmas week in its 120 year history," says Palkovich.  "It's unprecedented."

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Ice storm
5:42 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Shelters trying to make Christmas bright for people without heat

digging out
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

Several hundred people across the state may be spending Christmas in an emergency shelter, after a severe ice storm on Saturday.

Dick Beauchamp is with the Red Cross in Genessee County.

The agency turned the second floor of its Flint office into a shelter.

About 50 people were there as of Tuesday morning.

Beauchamp said he expects more to show up.

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Offbeat
6:54 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Thousands still without electricity in Michigan

2013 ice storm
Consumer's Energy

About 250,000 Michigan homes and businesses remain without power after a weekend ice storm that blacked out at least 482,000 homes and businesses and may have caused a Delta jetliner with 180 people on board to slide off a taxiway at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

The wintry blast hit Saturday night. The utilities say it will be days before most power is restored because of the difficulty of working around ice-broken lines.

DTE Energy says 56,000 of its affected 150,000 customers were off line.

Offbeat
4:34 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Thousands will have to wait until after Christmas to get their electricity restored in Michigan

This home in Lansing is just one of tens of thousands that lost power after ice-laden tree limbs broke power lines on Sunday
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

It will be Saturday at least before electricity is restored to all the Michigan homes and businesses that lost power in Sunday’s ice storm.

The storm knocked out power to almost a half million Michiganders.  About 300,000 are still waiting for their electricity to be turned back on. 

Brian Wheeler is a Consumers Energy spokesman.  He says about a third of the nearly 200,000 Consumers Energy customers without electricity are in Flint and Genesee County

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Offbeat
4:07 pm
Sun December 22, 2013

Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders are without power because of today’s ice storm.

Wires are down all across Michigan as tree limbs, breaking under a thick coating of ice, fall on power lines.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

UPDATE 8:06pm

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.

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