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Thousands of homes, businesses still in the dark across W. Mich.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Thousands of homes and businesses are still in the dark.

Five days after an ice storm hit the state.

Crews across Michigan are working around the clock to restore power, and they are slowly but surely making progress.

There are now just over 8,000 people without power in Barry County.

Thousands of homes and businesses are still in the dark five days after an ice storm hit the state.

Crews across Michigan are working around the clock to restore power, and they are slowly  making progress.

There are now just over 8,000 without power in Barry County.

In Ionia County, there are more than 2,000 people still waiting, and in Calhoun County, there are still around 1,100 without power.

In Kalamazoo County, it's down to just 212 homes and businesses.

The crews are working long hours and say they are doing what they can to make sure they tackle the problem as quickly as possible.

"We understand that they're cold, they're frustrated with how long it's taking," said Consumers Field Leader Chuck Roberts.

Roberts says safety is a big concern, and that's why they've been working day and night since the ice storm hit, trying to restore power.

"We're on a 16-hour schedule," he said. "So we'll work 16 hours and we'll take 8 hours off."

That schedule included Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

"We have assessors that go out, and then we have field leaders, like myself, who go out ahead of where the crews are at, attempting to find where the problems are so that when the crew actually gets on-site, they can just go to work and get the power restored," Roberts explained.

It's all mapped out.

While crews are working on one problem area, leaders are out identifying another, and then letting crews know what to expect before they get on the scene.

It's a system that allows Consumers Energy to be more efficient, but mother nature doesn't always comply.

While the weekend warm-up should help, it could also cause some issues.

The melt could put extra pressure on limbs, causing them to snap, possibly on more power lines.

Warming shelters are still set up at this time, and to find one, just call 2-1-1.