It's been a very long week for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders trying to make it through Christmas without power. It was reported that more than 350,000 residents and businesses were in the dark after last weekends ice storm, one of the biggest in the 126-year history of Consumers Energy.

We were lucky at our house.  The power flickered for just a brief moment last Sunday, and that was it... until Friday night.  Just after 6pm, the power went out.  After scrambling to find candles, flashlights and any other battery powered lamps I could find, I noticed a flashing light coming from the front yard.  To my surprise, it was a bucket truck pulling up to my front step.

I went outside and introduced myself to two men, Jamie and Justin, who were from Grand Rapids.  They were among the thousands of utility workers that were trying to get the power back online. The team showed up to take care of some tree branches that were draped over power lines in my front yard, and at other homes on that main power line.

Justin told me that they have been working 16 hour days since last Sunday.  They told me that were looking forward to yesterday (Sunday) when they could finally get back home to their families.  I wanted to offer them some hot coffee or tea, but couldn't without power.

Thanks to the efforts of Justin, Jamie and so may other dedicated utility workers from 13 different states, most of the power has been restored.  Consumers Energy's outage map currently shows no outages for its customers in Michigan.  DTE's outage map shows the same thing.

Next time you see a utility worker, be sure to thank them for their hard work and sacrifice.  They gave up time with their families and friends to clean up Mother Nature's icy mess.

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