This will remembered as the Christmas without power for many.

FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE: As of 4:30 a.m. Friday, 52,000 Consumers Energy customers were without electricity. Since noon Saturday, the winter storm caused more than 377,000 outages across Michigan.

Among the counties most affected by the outages still are Kent, with 313 customers without power; Barry, 6,754; Ionia, 1,909; Kalamazoo, 187; and Calhoun, 739.

Rachel Kramer
Rachel Kramer

As of 4:30 p.m. Thursday, about 73,500 Consumers Energy customers were still without power across Michigan, including several outages in greater Grand Rapids and West Michigan.

It was the company’s largest Christmas-week storm in its 126-year history and its largest ice storm in more than 10 years.

“We expect to have electricity to the majority of our customers affected by last weekend’s historic ice storm restored by the end of the day Saturday,” said Mary Palkovich, Consumers Energy vice president of energy delivery.

As of Thursday afternoon, there were 451 customers without electricity in Kent County; 304 in Allegan County; 8,856 in Barry County; 2,673 in Ionia County; and scattered outages in Ottawa, Montcalm and Kent counties.

More than 150,000 homes had been without power entering Christmas day, according to Consumers Energy. The outages were caused by an ice storm over the weekend that knocked out electricity to more than 500,000 homes and businesses across the state.

There were more than 20,000 customers in Kent County at the peak of the outages, Consumers Energy officials said.

Jackson, Mich.-based Consumers Energy expects power to be mostly restored today in hard-hit areas in greater Grand Rapids, including eastern and western Kent County, and Allegan and Ionia counties; in Montcalm and Kalamazoo counties by Friday; and in Barry County by Saturday.

More than 3,000 Consumers Energy employees, contractors and out-of-state help are working to restore electricity in the aftermath of the weekend ice storm.

Subfreezing temperatures, snow and the wintry conditions have slowed power-restoration efforts somewhat, Consumers Energy officials said.

Snowfall over a 24-hour period ending at 7 a.m. Thursday was 7.7 inches at Gerald R. Ford International Airport, 8 inches in Holland, 14 inches near Muskegon, 17 inches in Tallmadge Township just west of Walker, 4.4 inches in Grandville, 3.7 inches in Rockford, 5.4 inches in Allendale and 4.5 inches in Newaygo, according to the National Weather Service's Grand Rapids office.

This is the 10th snowiest December on record with 29.7 inches in Grand Rapids, according to the National Weather Service. The record is 59.2 inches in December 2000.

The forecasts calls for snow showers late afternoon and tonight, with a high of 26 degrees Fahrenheit and an overnight low of 16 degrees. Snow accumulations of up to 2 inches are expected, according to the National Weather Service's Grand Rapids office.

Temperatures in the upper 30s to lower 40s late Friday and into Saturday in some parts of the state will melt ice-coated tree branches, causing snapped power lines and, perhaps, additional customer outages, Consumers Energy said.

Consumers Energy said power outages can be reported at (800) 477-5050 or online.

The American Red Cross had opened shelters in Grand Rapids, Middleville and Delton, but is now only operating shelter at Thornapple Kellogg Middle School in Middleville. As of this morning, 10 people were using the site, according to the American Red Cross.

By the way, winter officially arrived at 12:11 p.m. EST Saturday, in case you missed it.


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