Dark, cold Christmas looms in many homes after ice storm cut power

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Detroit, MI, United States (4E) – Nearly half a million homes in at least four states were without electricity on Christmas Eve after a weekend ice storm brought trees and power lines down.

Two thousand linemen from two utility firms are working through Christmas to restore power in many homes in Michigan, which was hardest hit by the outage. About 900 local and out-of-state linemen of DTE Energy rush repair work in southeast Michigan, mainly in Oakland and Lapeer counties, to restore power to some 49,000 customers still in the dark as of 4 p.m.

About 2,000 homes from 25,000 affected customers in Oakland County had no electricity while another 2,000 customers in Livingston County are in the same plight as of 4:30 p.m., DTE spokeswoman Erica Donerson said. Some 23,000 customers in Lapeer County were without power in the evening.

Consumers Energy had as many as 2,500 linemen working to bring power back to 318,000 customers, including 150,000 in metro Detroit, according to its spokesman Dan Bishop. About 55,000 Consumers customers in Genesee County were still without power in the evening.

In Maine, about 34,546 households or more than half of all Central Maine Power (CMP) customers were without power while 18,444 or three-quarters of customers in Waldo County were in the dark. CMP said about 300 crews are working Tuesday to restore power to as many as 76,000 households without power as of 5:04 p.m.

The other utility company in Maine, Bangor Hydro Electric, has 17,170 customers affected by the outage by early Tuesday evening.

In Vermont, more than 5,000 Vermont Electric Cooperative customers were without power Tuesday noon. The outage was mostly in Franklin, Chittenden and Orleans counties.

Electric companies said thousands of homes in Maine, Vermont and upstate New York are likely to be without power on Christmas.

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