Berrien County residents coping with no power until Friday - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Berrien County residents coping with no power until Friday

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The storm Sunday left many homes and power lines in shambles, leaving nearly 18,000 people in Berrien County without power. FOX28's Faran Fronczak traveled to Benton Harbor on Monday to see the damage and how residents are coping.

Algonquin Drive has been out of power for over 24 hours, so residents took matters into their own hands. Danny Lee checked into a Motel 6 down the street from his home. "We tried to stick it out last night, but it started getting colder and colder in there. So it's wherever we can go and hang out and wait till we can figure out what's going on," he says.

Indiana Michigan Power says Sunday, nearly 18,000 people were without power in the Benton Harbor area after the storm. That number dwindled down to about 12,000 by Monday evening thanks to  the help from crews from Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Erica Putt is the Media Manager for Indiana Michigan Power (I&M). She explains why Benton Harbor gets hit the worst: "In the Benton Harbor area, there are a lot of trees, and the wind coming off of Lake Michigan can be pretty severe. So with the trees coming down, and the branches, it takes a lot of power lines down. In the Michigan area alone, we had 23 poles down."

Jeremy Young is an assessor for I&M, and has been working 16-hour days to help get the power back on. "You don't want to go up to any wires, you don't want to remove any wires. If they're laying across your shed, your drive, don't ever attempt to move them off. Treat everything as if it's hot," Young says.

I&M predicts the entire county will be back up and running with full power as early as Friday. We're told crews are working around the clock. I&M says it can take nearly 8 hours to fix one power line. In the meantime, residents are asked to keep calling I&M every 24 hours until their power comes back on.

The Red Cross is opening it's shelter in St. Joseph to those needing a place to stay. The Red Cross is asking those to call ahead to reserve a spot. The location is at 3838 Niles Road in St. Joseph City, Michigan. The number is (269)556-9616. 

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