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UPDATE: Repairs to the power grid progressing in Michigan


UNDATED (WKZO) -- Consumers Power Line crews, and the other crews brought in from all over the eastern half of the U.S. have been working 16 hour shifts since Tuesday in the cold and snow.

Many come from states where snow is a rare event. They have been living off junk food, sleeping in motels but they are earning a lot of overtime and holiday pay.

The latest numbers show they are making progress, there are just 82 customers who need repairs in Allegan County and 179 in Kalamazoo County, where work should conclude on Friday.

Here are the other counties that still have outages: Barry (8,856); Calhoun (1,369); Clinton (5,241); Eaton (6,092); Genesee (28,573); Ingham (7,118); Ionia (2,673); Kent (451); Livingston (3,319); Oakland (1,163) and Shiawassee (9,780).

One estimate is that the repair bill for the ice storm could be in excess of 35-million dollars, but that may be preliminary. Consumers says they budget for storms and repairs, and they are also insured, which may offset some of the cost.

Consumers spokesman Terry Dedoes says they are shifting line crews to focus on the most heavily impacted Counties.

Their goal is to finish the work on Saturday, but there are hints that it could take until Sunday or longer for some remote repairs.

Homeowners who have lived without power for 5 days are eligible under a relatively new state law for a refund from their utility. It was adopted to encourage utilities to try harder to get people back on the grid. If you qualify you can apply for the $25 refund. Everyone who lost power Saturday night and spent Christmas without power is eligible. You can apply online.