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BWL launches program to head off problems from future storm-related power outages

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Lansing residents will get some additional help next time a massive ice storm knocks out their electricity.

Last December, about 40,000 Lansing Board of Water and Light customers lost their power during a pre-Christmas ice storm. Thousands spent the holiday in the dark as utility crews tried to restore power.   

The heavy ice yanked the wiring out of about 1,000 homes and businesses. Homeowners had to track down electricians during the holidays to reconnect homes to electric meters before power could be restored. Many had to wait 11 to 12 days.

BWL General Manager J. Peter Lark says to help avoid this problem in the future, the utility is partnering with some Lansing electricians to speed up the process during future outages.

“We certainly learned in a large storm like this, when you have hundreds of people with problems with their masts (the piece of equipment that connects homes to power), this makes it a lot easier to get attention from an electrician,” says Lark.

It typically costs homeowners up to $1,000 to repair this type of storm damage. The BWL program will allow customers time to pay that off as part of their regular electricity bill.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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