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Power restored to thousands, but Consumers still working to get customers out of the dark

At 4:30 p.m. Saturday, there were about 45,000 outages across the state, and about 22,000 in Kent county, the hardest hit area. (WWMT/FILE)

Tens of thousands of Michiganders are still without power Saturday night following severe weather earlier in the week.

At 4:30 p.m. Saturday, there were about 45,000 outages across the state, and about 22,000 in Kent county, the hardest hit area.

“Yeah, it was bad,” said Mark Johnson, who has been without power since Tuesday. When the lights went out, Johnson had to think quickly to keep his family safe.

“It was just cold that first day, but then we found someone that let us power a generator, so I have that hooked up to run some of the things in the house, keep it warm,” Johnson said.

The generator is still running, right below his bedroom window.

“It’s kind of a pain. It takes about, I don’t know, 20 gallons of gas a day,” Johnson said.

Every time he goes to fill up his gas tank at the gas station, Johnson said he sees others doing the same.

He’s ready for the power to come back.

“It was disappointing, because you know they, yesterday they said they were going to have it at 5 p.m.,” he said.

Consumers Energy said crews have been working around the clock, repairing downed lines and equipment. One of the biggest challenges slowing crews has been the safety of the roads

With better weather Saturday, Consumers said it has made a lot more progress.

“We really want people to know that we appreciate their patience and their understanding. We’ve had more than 230,000 folks who’ve been affected by this storm, this bad weather, and we’re making progress, we’re getting there, but we know it can be a hardship to go a few days without power, especially in the middle of winter,” said Consumers Energy spokesman Brian Wheeler.

Wheeler said crews will be working throughout the night and into Sunday.

Some people may have to wait until Monday night, but Consumers said all power should be restored by then.

“Maybe more can be done in the summer months to make sure the lines are clear,” Johnson said.

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