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Thousands without power after ice storm sweeps through area

An ice storm with freezing rain that swept across most of southern Michigan late Wednesday has left more than 570,000 homes and businesses without power, approximately 10,000 of which are in Livingston County.

As of 5 a.m., DTE Energy about 383,000 of its customers without power, while Consumers Energy says approximately 192,000 of its customers are affected.

Some of the hardest hit areas were near and south of Jackson, most especially in Hillsdale County.

Locally, several transformers were caught fire and numerous downed power lines had fire and police personnel responding through the evening and into this morning.

Courtesy of Howell Area Fire Department

“Ice storms continue to move through Michigan. The severe weather is bringing down trees and branches, damaging our power lines and causing outages,” stated DTE on its website. “Our Storm Response Teams will work around the clock to restore power as quickly and safely as possible, and additional support from neighboring states has arrived to support restoration efforts. Please be safe and remember to stay at least 25 feet from any downed power lines — assume they are live and dangerous.“

There were also numerous complaints from individuals with DTE’s service area, which included Livingston County, that the new online Outage Map is often not functional and has been redesigned in a manner that does not allow individuals to see the full extent of the outages in their area.

“The new DTE Energy #outage map is a convoluted mess and honestly needs to be remedied,” posted South Lyon City Councilman Alex Hansen. “The old map was so much more user friendly. I’ve gotten numerous complaints about this today. We have over five thousand residents without power in the South Lyon area, and you wouldn’t easily know it from the map.”

Meanwhile, all Livingston County public schools, and many others in the area, have canceled classes for a second straight day due to the storm.

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