Power crews wrap up restoration, prepare for coming ice storm

Posted at 8:12 PM, Dec 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-27 23:12:11-05

MICHIGAN — Less than a week after hundreds of thousands of customers were left in the dark following a powerful Christmas Eve windstorm, preparations are underway for another storm expected Monday that could bring high winds and ice with the potential of knocking power out once again for many across the state.

Consumers Energy said while it is wrapping up power restoration in northern Michigan, it is also preparing crews and material for Monday’s weather.

"We're getting our crews back to the home headquarters. We're getting them the proper rest that they need and we're literally restocking the trucks with more equipment. We're ready to go so that when mother nature hits, we're gonna hit right back," said Rodger Morgenstern of Consumers Energy.

Ice accumulations of at least a quarter inch put enough weight on power lines to cause outages.

"We design our lines to take a certain amount of ice. That's part of what we call 'ice loading' but when we get over a quarter inch of ice, which is quite a bit of ice, we will start seeing some damage" said Morgenstern.

As of 4:30 p.m. Sunday, roughly 6,000 customers remained without service from the Christmas Eve storm. Consumers Energy said its crews were on track to restore nearly all customers by the end of Sunday.

More than 1,700 workers from Consumers Energy, Michigan contractors and crews from five other states have been working since Christmas Eve to restore electricity. The storm brought down trees and damaged or destroyed more than 300 utility poles, according to Consumers Energy.