WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — It has been a long three days for tens of thousands of people without power in West Michigan, and it’s been a long three days for utility crews trying to restore their service.
It began Wednesday, when freezing rain coated much of West Michigan in ice, snapping trees and downing lines. Another round of freezing rain and high winds with lake-effect snow added to the nightmare.
Consumers Energy crews began the grind — 16 hours on, eight hours off.
“We’re starting to restore a lot of power, but the crews are getting tired,” said Jimmy Brady, an electric line field leader for Consumers Energy.
“They also have to be careful because of falling limbs, ice that’s coming down. We don’t want anybody getting hurt. That’s the No. 1 priority, that everybody’s safe.”
Brady is right there with the workers in the buckets whom he supervises.
The damage is widespread and can’t be fixed with the flip of a switch.
“It’s the small repairs with this storm. We don’t have a lot of broken poles or transformers on the ground or any of that. It’s all of the little repairs, which means you have to follow up on each and every one of those,” he explained.
Brady says many of the workers can sympathize with the thousands of Michiganders in the dark.
“We have a lot of crews here that are without power,” said Brady. “Their families are home in the same situation as the general public. And they’re working, trying to get power restored. “