Parts of Midland County still without power

Published: Dec. 3, 2019 at 5:51 PM EST
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(12/03/19) - It's been a long few days without power for thousands of people across the state.

Midland County was one of the hardest hit areas, and as of Tuesday afternoon some were still feeling the chill in the air.

Consumers Energy crews and their contractors have been working since Sunday to get the power back on.

However, a spokesman said there have been challenges. Heavy snow continued to bring down tree limbs and power lines, even after the storm wrapped up.

David Stevens of Roscommon County decided to stay with his mom in Midland County to make sure she could stay warm.

He was worried about the generator. "Not being able to restart the generator, doesn't always run right. Gets cold, the gas gets cold and doesn't want to keep going cause it's propane and not petroleum," Stevens said.

Her generator only has enough power to keep the refrigerator, one light and a couple other small items running.

But as our interview wrapped up the lights came back on.

A Consumers Energy crew had been working a few houses down the road.

Stevens said power outages are just part of living in Michigan. "It's been a while since we lost it so it's, can't complain too much."

Some businesses have struggled too. Sanford Food Center, a family owned grocery store, was forced to throw away a dumpster full of food.

"The freezer section, dairy section, produce sections. The sections that are going to carry food-borne illnesses, you know, deli. Everything that's not dry food basically," explained Store Manager Taylor Meyette.

Meyette's family has owned the store for nearly half a century. They only remember one incident in recent times where something like forced them to throw away the food.

"Once it gets past a certain temperature it has to be thrown away, we don't want anybody to get sick," Meyette said.

State law requires stores like Sanford Food Center to follow specific guidelines when there is a power failure.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development requires food that can't be kept at the right temperature after a brief time to become trash. The food can not be given away, it has to be thrown out.

"When you deal with the public like this every day and serving our community, it's really hard to see. You know it can bring tears to some people's eyes," Meyette said.

Meyette is not only worried about their loss, but customers who also may need to re-stock after the storm. "I hope they can get it back on. I know they're struggling to get everybody going right now," he said. "But as was mentioned, being the biggest supplier of food in this town to this community, for us not to have power, on a main line along with this gas station is ridiculous."

They do have insurance to cover situations like this, but that could impact their rates in the future.

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