Thousands forced to spend Christmas in the dark - WNEM TV 5

Thousands forced to spend Christmas in the dark

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OGEMAW COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Thousands of Mid-Michigan residents spent Christmas in the dark after storms brought down trees and power lines across the state.

Consumers Energy is working to restore powers to customers, but for many, the lights won’t be on until after the weekend.

Ogemaw County was hit the hardest with power outages.

“My grandson is up here visiting and it’s kind of rough with no power,” said Sandra Thayer, Ogemaw County resident.

Thayer is like thousands of people throughout Mid-Michigan forced to spend Christmas in the dark. Wicked winds played the role of Scrooge when Thayer lost her electricity Thursday morning.

“There goes Christmas dinner, everything,” Thayer said.

Thayer’s daughter-in-law Shannay Strong is visiting the family home in Ogemaw County from downstate.

“Woke up to no power and it’s not exciting because it was cold,” Strong said.

Strong said there’s no water because the electricity powers that too.

Meanwhile, others are hitting the hotels in nearby West Branch.

“I spent Christmas Eve at home. It was awfully cold and I decided I’m not doing that again,” said Carol Mackenzie, Ogemaw County resident.

Mackenzie said one night in the dark is one too many for her.

Residents were glad to find the Quality Inn was open.

“We got a big surprise yesterday. We ended up filling last night and tonight and probably tomorrow night,” said Dave Clouse, hotel spokesman.

Even though business is booming, Clouse said he feels bad for all of his customers forced to spend their holiday away from home.

“They want to be home with their family and instead they’re here visiting our family. But they’re all being really good about it,” Clouse said.

Crews have been brought in from out of state to help with the restoration efforts.

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