(SANILAC COUNTY) -- A steady diet of freezing rain and cold temperatures means parts of the country socked by a weekend storm will be covered with ice through Christmas and beyond. Hundreds of thousands of people from Michigan to Maine remain without power today after the storm that dropped up to 2 inches of ice in some places. Michigan's largest utilities say it will be days before most of those blacked out get their power back. The City of Brown City in Sanilac County was hit hard by the power outages from the weekend storm. Mayor Christine Lee is asking residents to refrain from flushing toilets and putting water in drains until further notice because the power outage has affected the lift-station. DTE Energy says that around 3,500 customers in Sanilac County are still without power. There are around 2,000 out in Tuscola County and Lapeer County was the hardest hit with around 30,000 customers still offline.
Thumb Electric Coop has 3,800 customers with out power. Both DTE and Thumb Electric have brought in out-of-state line crews to assist in the restoration efforts. DTE spokesman Scott Simons says about 138,000 customers have been impacted by the storm since Saturday evening and crews have restored power to about 55,000 customers. It is anticipated the majority of the outages will be restored by late today with most of the remaining outages restored by late Tuesday, Christmas Eve.
Sanilac County Emergency Manager and Sandusky Fire Chief Todd Hillman reminds residents to place generators outside of their homes. Also, homes not equipped with a disconnect-those residents should shut off the main breaker to the house to avoid back feed. Please leave trees and branches alone and don't attempt to knock off the ice and if you see a downed power line, keep away and report it to authorities. Sanilac County fire departments responded to 189 calls after the storm late Saturday and into Sunday.