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Thousands in the dark after ice storms cut power lines in US, Canada

Thousands of Americans who have been left without electricity since a heavy ice storm hit last Saturday will continue to be powerless until Friday evening.

According to officials in Michigan and Maine, even that estimate  may be too optimistic, as more snowfall and low temperatures  continue to cause problems for line crews and threaten to prevent  ice from melting off frozen power lines.

“We’ve had two beautiful, sunny days in Maine and the ice  isn’t going anyplace,” Lynette Miller, spokeswoman for the  Maine Emergency Management Agency, said to the Associated Press.   “They’re very concerned about more weight coming down on  trees that are already compromised by ice.”


In Maine, roughly 33,000 customers were still without power  heading into Thursday. Some customers continued to lose power  even as others regained it, with falling tree branches causing  outages in parts of the state. Complicating matters is the  expectation that another two to six inches of snow could fall  during Thursday.

Michigan was hit even harder. Although customers are gradually  regaining electricity, USA Today reported that there are still  around 128,000 people waiting for their power to be restored –  down from almost half a million earlier in the week. According to  DTE Energy, the company has more than 1,500 workers out in the  field clearing branches off power lines and restoring power.


In an attempt to help those suffering from prolonged outages, the  American Red Cross has set up shelters around Michigan’s Lapeer  and Genesee Counties, offering food, water, and blankets.  According to the Red Cross’ relief tracker, Christmas Day saw  roughly 370 people taking shelter in the organization’s  facilities across the state.

“It got kind of drastic – you hated to get up even to go to  the bathroom because the seat was too cold,” local resident  Bonita Thomas, 51, told CNN from one of the Michigan shelters.   “It was just getting too hard to bear.”

The ice storm has done more than inconvenience people during the  holidays, though. Officials believe the storm has caused 27  deaths so far; 17 in the United States and another 10 in Canada,  which was also blanketed with ice. As of Wednesday, around  160,000 customers in Canada were still without power.



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Comments (2)

  1. […] everyone admits that such an event would take out the grid, and leave the mass population without power, food, water and other essential services, triggering riots, chaos and mass death within days and […]

  2. Ryan

    Washington US

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