GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Out of state utility crews are helping Consumers Energy get the power back on for thousands of west Michigan customers still without electricity following the ice storms this week.

RELATED: Over 100,000 without power in West Michigan; outages could last until Monday

Workers from Kentucky drove to west Michigan Tuesday.  

Friday 179 additional three-person crews from Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Tennessee will join the effort.  

The crews are far from home, many in a climate colder than they are used to, but they say they are happy for the chance to help.

“That’s what they look forward to,” explains utility worker Danny Thompson from Louisville, Kentucky. “Everybody in this line of work, they like going to the storm. They look forward to it.  You enjoy helping everybody.”

Utility companies all over the country offer mutual aid when other utilities have a crisis.

“We were down there (in Kentucky) and helped them, so now it is time for them to help us,” says Consumers Energy spokesman Roger Morgenstern. “We appreciate it.”

The out of state utility crews say they will stay as long as they are needed.

“Pretty cold weather from what we are used to,” laughs Thompson. “But we enjoy being up here able to help out. Feels pretty good when everybody is so grateful to see you.”

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