Utility linemen brave cold ice to restore power

first_imgDETROIT — When an ice storm glazed over Michigan last weekend, Tony Carone feared he wouldn’t be spending Christmas at home with his family.“Nobody had to call. I heard it on the top of my roof,” Carone said.The 52-year-old lineman for Detroit-based DTE Energy is one of the thousands of electrical workers who have put in double shifts trying to restore power to more than a half-million homes and businesses. Outages stretched from the Great Plains to Maine and into eastern Canada.“My power went out the same time as everybody else’s,” Carone said of the power to his Lapeer home, north of Detroit. It was about 7:30 a.m. Sunday, while he was on the phone with his utility’s area leader. He walked out the door a half-hour later and has been working 16 hours a day ever since.The storm has been blamed for 17 deaths in the U.S. and 10 in Canada. Five people apparently died from carbon monoxide poisoning tied to using generators.Michigan bore the brunt of the storm as nearly 600,000 homes and businesses lost power, and as of Friday morning, about 64,000 customers remained in the dark. Maine reported almost 12,000 outages and in eastern Canada, nearly 62,000 still hadn’t had their power restored, including 33,000 in Toronto.last_img

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