Power outage amid freeze in Michigan may last into next week
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Staring at a sixth day without power in a house as cold as a refrigerator, a frustrated John Johnson finally was able to borrow a generator from a neighbor on Friday.
He “never in a million years” thought his tree-lined city neighborhood near Michigan State University would be without electricity this long.
But it could be Sunday or even the middle of next week before the power is back after a weekend ice storm that tore off tree limbs and snuffed out lights from Michigan to Maine and into Canada over the Christmas holiday.
“Hopefully, I make it through without any frozen pipes until the (utility) gets in here,” said Johnson, 63, as he tried setting up the generator to warm up the house above 40 degrees before giving it back to his neighbor.
Michigan bore the brunt of the storm as nearly 600,000 homes and businesses lost power, and as of Friday afternoon, about 60,000 customers remained in the dark.
Maine reported almost 12,000 outages. In eastern Canada, nearly 62,000 hadn't had their power restored, including 33,000 in Toronto.
Tens of thousands of Michigan residents such as Johnson are the unlucky ones still waiting. Some have abandoned their homes to stay elsewhere. Others are riding it out, either by choice — not wanting to leave pets or unattended houses — or because they have nowhere else to go.
Their Christmas plans were ruined or inconvenienced, and now their frustration is boiling over.
The residents know the storm was bad and appreciate the around-the-clock efforts of line crews, but in East Lansing, for instance, residents are questioning the response by the municipal utility.
“Where's the money going? The money we pay in power bills, the money that they spend to cut these trees down to keep the power lines open doesn't seem to really be working, in my mind,” said Jon Irvin, 35.
Irvin drove an hour north to Mount Pleasant on Sunday to buy a $500 generator because he couldn't find any in the Lansing area. It powers his furnace and a few lights.
“We couldn't really afford it, but we did it anyway,” he said. “Every day, it's been a better and better purchase.”
Anger was building in Surry, Maine, where one Bangor Hydro customer approached a line crew and made a threatening phone call Thursday on learning the crew wasn't working on the circuit necessary to restore his power. The utility temporarily had the crew leave the area until police investigated.
No charges will be filed against the man, state police said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pope Francis’ lack of familiarity with United States unusual
- Obama inches closer to veto-proof support for Iran nuclear deal
- Supreme Court can resolve Kentucky county clerk’s refusal to issue marriage licenses to gays
- CDC lauds schools for better nutrition
- Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Fischer open to interest rate hike
- Thousands in New Orleans became targets of unscrupulous contractors
- Court lifts injunction against NSA call records program
- New Orleans slow to heal 10 years after Hurricane Katrina
- Man arrested in deputy’s ambush
- Clinton: Women ‘expect’ extremism from terrorists, not GOP candidates
- Long Island college student arrested for trying to record police, civil liberties experts say