LAKE COUNTY -- December brought the official start to the winter season with residents waking up to snow and ice blanketing the area Sunday morning, Dec. 1.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration office in Grand Rapids, snow totals for the area ranged from 6 to 12 inches, with the higher amounts falling in Lake County.

Power line damage caused from accumulations of ice and snow and from fallen tree limbs created power outages for thousands of residents.

A news release from Great Lakes Energy stated the largest number of power outages impacted customers in Lake, Mason, Newaygo and Osceola counties.

"Accumulations of a quarter of an inch of ice, along with falling snow took power lines down," Great Lakes Energy communications and marketing manager Lacey Matthews said. "We are doing everything we can to get power restored. Heavy wet snow is holding up our progress, we just need it to warm up."

More than 13,000 customers in Lake County were without power Sunday. As of Monday morning at 8:15 a.m., 12,494 had been restored with 1,208 remaining, Matthews said. Osceola County fared a little better with just over 5,000 having lost power. As of Tuesday, 4,720 have had power restored and 526 remain without power.

"We have pulled in all available crews, including contract and support crews, to restore power as quickly as possible," Matthews said. "We have all hands on deck and will work as late as is possible without compromising workers safety."

Great Lakes Energy reminded customers to stay away from downed power lines and stay clear of trees and limbs hanging on lines, and to seek alternative arrangements, if necessary, until power can be restored.

For additional information, or to track your restoration progress, visit gtlakes.com.