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State Police Encourage Caution and Patience after Ice Storm

The Michigan State Police (MSP) reminds citizens to use extreme caution as recovery efforts are underway after a winter storm brought snow, wind, and ice, leading to power outages, downed trees, and power lines.

As of 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Consumers Energy and DTE are reporting more than 680,000 customers without power. Most outages are in the southern portion of the state, concentrated around the Metro Detroit area. Oakland, Hillsdale, Macomb, and Jackson counties are among the hardest hit.

The Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is working with local emergency management partners to ensure communities have all the resources they need to respond and recover.

“This intense blast of winter severely impacted our communities across the state,” said Capt. Kevin Sweeney, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “We are closely monitoring the situation to ensure the public health and safety of Michigan citizens.”

Citizens who have lost power are encouraged to remain vigilant and patient as utility companies work to restore power. Below are some reminders on staying safe during a power outage:

Stay at least 25 feet from any downed lines and assume that every line is “live” and dangerous.

Call 911 to report a downed power line.

If clearing trees or limbs, make sure they are not in contact with a power line. Trees and branches can conduct electricity and electrocute you on contact.

Report outages to your utility company.

Never run a generator indoors. Place it is outside, far away from windows or any other area where exhaust can vent back into a living area. Carbon monoxide can cause injury or death.

Check on elderly and disabled neighbors to ensure they are safe.

Use battery-powered lanterns, if possible, rather than candles to light homes without electrical power. If you use candles, make sure they are in safe holders away from curtains, paper, wood, or other flammable items. Never leave a candle burning when you are out of the room.

Use extreme caution when driving. If traffic signals are out, treat each signal as a stop sign. Come to a complete stop at every intersection and look before you proceed.

For more information on how to prepare before, during, and after an emergency or disaster, visit or follow MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS

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