Frequent power outages sparking questions - WNEM TV 5

Frequent power outages sparking questions

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MARION TWP., MI (WNEM) -

Nothing reminds you just how nice it is to have electricity like losing it. 

“It's eight hours, 12 hours, six hours, it's three hours, they just keep on happening,” Les Belanger said.

Time and time again, Belanger heads out into his garage and wheels out his generator.

“We lose our ability to cook, to heat our house, cool our house, wash our hands, flush the toilet. So, it’s everything to us,” Belanger said.

On Tuesday, Belanger said he lost power to his Marion Township home. Losing power from time to time is normal but imagine it being the tenth time this year.

“We’ve had more than our fair share and now it’s time to fix the problem,” Belanger said.

With no severe weather in sight during the outages, Belanger is wanting answers. Consumers Energy said it comes down to poor surroundings.

“The number one problem is dead trees coming down on our lines,” said Debra Dodd, a spokesperson for Consumers Energy.

Dodd said the source of the problem is a swampy area far back into the woods. If it is dead trees falling on the lines, that’s causing the outages.

So why doesn’t Consumers Energy remove the trees so it won’t happen again? Dodd said they simply have no right to do so.

“These trees are located outside of the right-away. That means we can't just go in there and take them out,” she said.

However, Belanger said he’ll believe it when he sees the lights stay on. In the meantime, he’s thinking of alternative solutions.

“We are in the early stages of looking at solar power and going totally of the grid,” he said. 

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