Thousands in Michigan celebrate Christmas without power as crews from as far as North Carolina help

NORTHERN OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. (WXYZ) - It's a Christmas Day without electrical power for some in the area and we found work crews from as far away as North Carolina working through the holiday to turn the lights back on.

In northern Oakland County, some residents have been without electricity since Saturday when ice began bringing down tree limbs and power lines here.

 7 Action News found several crews working to restore electricity in rural areas near Clarkston, Holly and Genesee County's Otisville.

Outages are far-flung in these areas where crews are often working to bring the lights back on for just a few homes at a time. It's much more tedious work than they face in more populated areas south of here.

Power in the area is provided by both DTE Energy and Consumers Energy. Customers of the power companies say they're being told they could have power restored as early as a few hours from now – or as late Friday or Saturday.

As they do in situations like this, the local power companies have reached out for help from afar. 7 Action News ran into two five-man crews from North Carolina that had been brought in by Consumers Energy.

We found power crews from Iron Mountain in the U.P. as well.

Some homeowners say they're able to limp by with the help of electrical generators, but those are only able to provide most homes with the basics –heat and some lights – not enough power to run large appliances.

On Christmas morning, DTE Energy said 20,000 customers were still without power. For Consumers Energy, the problems were spread over a much larger area of the state and 129,000 customers were still facing outages.

You can view maps of outages from each of the power companies here:



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