Some still in the dark in South Bend - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Some still in the dark in South Bend

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SOUTH BEND - Raymond Guzman and his family are getting used to reading with old style kerosene lamps.

"Dusk or dark we're in bed. We get up early in the morning and we go about our business," Guzman said. 

They've been without power since Monday night. So has his neighbor Carrie Smalley.

"Oh it's been very frustrating," Smalley said.

She says she's lucky to have a generator, and has been offering showers and refrigerator space to neighbors.

"There are elderly that have no power, no lights, no food, no one to look after them. It's scary," Smalley said.

I&M's Brian Bergsma says power restoration is in its final stage. More than 75% of the 74,000 customers without power are now back online.

"Starting this evening on they'll be working on situations where there will be a pole and that pole may only affect a house or two and those customers will take a while," Bergsma said.

I&M says one of the main reasons it takes so long to restore power in some of these smaller neighborhoods is that it takes an hour each to remove old poles like this that may be crushed or have fallen and replace them with a new pole. I asked Bergsma if a system overhaul using all underground power lines might help us avoid the lengthy wait for power restoration in the future.

"There is a belief that underground is more reliable. The fact is that you still have outages underground and when you have outages under ground something that could be fixed very quickly above ground could take a long time," Bergsma said.

Spending anytime without power can feel like a long time. But most customers seem to be taking it in stride.

 "It's a nuisance, but we have to be patient," Guzman said.

For the most recent outage updates, click here.

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