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UPDATE: Storm recovery grinds on


WEST MICHIGAN (WKZO) -- Thousands remain without electrical service throughout west Michigan, but utility workers are slowly, but surely, making progress in restoration efforts.

There are about 5,000 without power in Kalamazoo County, and 850 waiting for repairs in Van Buren County,

In Calhoun County about 35-hundred are still in the dark, and there are over 500 homes and businesses still in the black in Branch County.

There are 23-hundred families waiting for the power to return in Allegan county and nearly 400 still blacked out in Ottawa County.

The lights will continue to come back on throughout the region through Wednesday night for most. Those in the hardest hit areas may have to wait until Friday or, as Consumers Energy cautions, Saturday for some.

It may not entirely compensate you for living without power but if you still don’t have power after 5 days, you may qualify for a 25-dollar rebate on your power bill.

That will be in addition to whatever savings you enjoy from simply not having any electricity for the better part of a week.

Judy Palnau at the Public Service Commission says if you haven’t called in your outage, you still can. That makes you eligible. Just let them know you have been in the dark since Sunday.

It’s an incentive the MPSC has in place to encourage utilities not to dawdle on repairs.

There are now eight Red Cross shelters open in South West Michigan for anyone who needs someplace warm to stay while the utility crews work on power outages.

The latest to open is at the Red Cross Chapter building on North Cedar Street in Hartford, They are also opening a warming center at Antwerp Township Hall in Mattawan during the day.

This is in addition to the shelters in Barry, Berrien, Battle Creek, Cass, Kalamazoo, Kent, and Ionia County.