Thousands without power in Berrien County

Published 12:42 pm Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Heavy winds combined with ice that accumulated on trees caused widespread outages that, at their peak, affected thousands of people in southwest Michigan Monday and Tuesday.

More than 8,000 people were without power in Berrien County as of noon Tuesday, according to AEP Indiana/Michigan Power’s online outage map. That number accounted for just more than 10 percent of all AEP’s nearly 80,000 customers in the county.

In a press release issued just before noon Tuesday, AEP said it was sending more than 270 outside contractors and employees of other utilities to assist its employees in restoring power following Monday’s ice and wind storm.

Many of the outages were attributed to trees and branches on power lines, AEP reported, with more than 20 broken poles and a dozen broken cross-arms on poles recorded in Michiana.

AEP expects to have an estimated time of restoration for power to Michigan customers later today.

AEP is advising that people exercise extreme caution around downed power lines. Report outages by phone by calling (800) 311-4634.