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BWL working to restore electricity

Posted: 7:32 AM, Jul 12, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-12 07:32:28-04

 "It was pretty scary. There was lots of wind. My husband was gonna go out for a bike ride and he looked out the window and he decided against it and he came in and told us to get in the basement," said Annette Sokolnicki. Her home was damaged in the storm.

The storm didn't last long, but for the BWL it's the worst summer storm the utility has seen.

"We have a group that monitors weather for us and this popped up pretty fast," said BWL General Manager Dick Peffley. "We knew there was a chance for severe weather, but nothing like this predicted by our folks or anybody that we saw. But we were able to respond fast."

More than 600 wires and 14 utility poles were knocked down. 12,000 customers lost power.

"The areas where we have not been able to get in and do tree trimming yet, were hit the hardest," Peffley said. "And, there's certain areas that have been resistant to this. We think this will help them see the light."

The BWL told News Ten within 48 hours of the storm, power was restored to 90% of their customers. And, thanks to mutual aid, 50 crews have constantly been on scene.

"Lot of work involved there," Peffley added.

The Sokolnickis have their electricity back, but are still working to clean up the debris.

"It looked like a forest had grown in our front yard. We couldn't get out our front door," Annette Sokolnicki explained. "We have one full tree that uprooted in the front yard and two significant limbs in the back - one fell on our family room."

And, like much of the neighborhood, they spent their weekend cutting up the limbs which now lie in the front yard, ready for the City to pick up.

"We're gonna ask people to be patient with us," said Scott House, Director of East Lansing Public Works. "It's gonna take a long time to remove this much debris, it's gonna take several weeks."

The City is asking people with trees down in their yard to move them as close to the curb as possible, so they can be disposed of. But, only if there are no power lines touching them.

Just make sure you keep the sidewalks and street clear.

The BWL expects all power to be restored by Wednesday.