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As power returns, state may begin investigation

(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - At this hour, more than 36,000 Consumers Energy customers across the state remain without power.

That's down from about 392,000 over the weekend.

Consumers Energy says Friday's warmer weather has helped crews really gain some ground on the outages.

Barry County continues to be the hardest hit area in West Michigan, as there are still around 5,700 homes without power there.

The number is down to about 1,500 in Ionia and St. Joseph Counties, and more than 350 in both Calhoun and Kent Counties.

Between Consumers Energy and other power companies in Michigan, nearly 600,000 homes and businesses were hit by ice storm-related blackouts.

Barry, Clinton, Eaton, and Shiawassee Counties have made local emergency declarations, making them eligible for state aid.

Eaton County's Delta Township has also filed a declaration.

The Michigan Public Service Commission has also begun a review of the outages, looking at the factors that have delayed restoration efforts.