Trees frozen in ice cripple a section of power lines in Belgrade Dec. 24, 2013. From Michigan to Maine, hundreds of thousands lost power in a massive ice storm.(Photo: Michael G. Seamans, Morning Sentinel, AP)
Lingering power outages affecting tens of thousands of people
are ratcheting up frustration levels, prompting a fight over a stolen
generator in Michigan and the temporarily pullout of a power crew in
Maine following a death threat.
Michigan was hardest
hit by last weekend's weekend ice storm as nearly 600,000 homes and
businesses lost power; 64,000 customers were still blacked out as of
Michigan power officials reported steady progress but said outages would continue in some areas into Saturday.
Michigan Man Loses Tooth In Fight for Generator
reported almost 12,000 outages, and in eastern Canada, nearly 62,000
still hadn't had their power restored, including 33,000 in Toronto.
Faloon, a spokesperson for Maine's Bangor Hydro, said one customer
called in a death threat to a service center after he was told by a crew
working in Surry, Maine, that their immediate project would not yet
directly restore power to his home, the Bangor Daily News reports.
paraphrased the caller's threat as saying, "If that crew doesn't turn
around and get my power back on I'm probably going to lose it. I'm
probably going to kill someone."
MICHIGAN: Inside a Lansing area 'forgotten zone'
She said yanking the crew, even temporarily, from Surry was likely to slow the process of getting power restored.
Lansing Township, Mich., a desperate Dave Behnke, 60, reported a state
of desperation in his neighborhood, which he called a "forgotten zone."
was especially dismayed when a newly bought $500 generator went silent
around 11 p.m. Investigating, Behnke saw two men making off with the
generator. He got it back in a punch-out and lost a tooth in the
"They told me the next day at the police department
there'd been mine and four other ones stolen and I was the only one who
got mine back because I chased the guys," Behnke told Lansing State Journal reporter Steven R. Reed.
least one Michigan utility company is warning more problems could be on
the way as temperatures warm up - even while the current colder
temperatures make for more falling tree branches and other hazards.
Palkovich, vice president of energy delivery for Consumers Energy, said
warmer temperatures expected over the next couple of days could cause
more tree limbs to snap and fall onto power lines as ice melts.
is an issue we often see with ice storms," Palkovich said in a
statement. "It's not unusual, but it is a challenge for our crews and