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Grand Rapids — Christmas trees are dark in thousands of homes in western and northern Michigan, victims of a power outage from a severe storm this week.

Consumers Energy says the number of affected customers was reduced to about 87,000 before dawn. The utility says “significant portions” of the state should get electricity restored Friday but some could be out until Monday.

The affected counties include Kent with 8,000 outages, Clare with 5,400 and Roscommon with 4,770. The service area stretches from Ottawa County north to Emmet County.

In the Flint area, Matt Ferguson says he’s supervising 44 people on Christmas. He worked a 12-hour shift Thursday and was out the door again at 5 a.m. Friday.

His four kids miss him but he reassured them that “Santa was still going to come.”

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