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Frozen power lines due to ice storm could lead to power outages throughout mid-Michigan

Posted at 5:03 PM, Feb 22, 2023

JACKSON, Mich. — With freezing rain comes frozen power lines, and that can lead to power outages. Consumer Energy's Media Relation Manager Brian Wheeler shared with FOX 47 News how to prepare for outages.

"You'll want to keep you refrigerator door closed of course to keep the cool air in there as much as you can. We recommend folks don't use candles because that can be a fire hazard," said Wheeler.

Generators are another common item utilized in power outages, and they come with their own set of rules.

"Many people are using generators for situations like this. That is certainly one way to keep power to your house, but make sure you look at the instructions, and you're operating it safely. We want to remind people always keep your generators outside of your house in an area with a lot of cross breeze going through, so it's well ventilated," said Wheeler.

For those unable to ride out the storm at home, it's important to take into account your surroundings.

"Ice is the story of the storm, and that's what we're watching for the most. The concern when we have an ice storm is that ice can accumulate on power lines and on equipment," said Wheeler.

Power lines can withstand about 500 pounds, or the weight of one piano. Extra weight from ice and uneven weight distribution, may cause down lines.

"If you do see a down power line, we always tell people to stay at least 25 feet away, really a large distance, then call 911 and call Consumers Energy. We often will send what we call wire guards, people who go and make sure no one else comes into contact with the wire," said Wheeler.

For up to date information on outages and repairs, check the Consumer Energy app or you can visit their outage center on their website.

Want to see more local news? Visit the FOX47News Website.

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