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Investigation launched into power outage response

MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Thousands of people plunged into darkness for more than a week. Now an investigation is being launched into the response by two Michigan utility companies after last month's ice storm.

It's being launched by the Michigan Public Service Commission.

The agency is looking into how the utility companies responded to the major outages that happened just before Christmas, leaving hundreds of thousands of people in the dark.

The investigation was launched into the responses of Consumers Energy and DTE after the ice storm.

Many of their customers were without power for more than a week.

The commission says the prolonged power outages raise serious concerns and require review.
 
The investigation will examine how the ice storm affected the utilities' distribution system, how the utilities responded before and during the storm, whether any changes could be implemented to reduce future power outages and whether there is evidence of a failure on the part of either utility to properly maintain its system.

Consumers and DTE have until February 7th to respond to the investigation.

The review process is expected to last through March. That's when the Michigan Public Service Commission will propose any changes that might be needed.