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Consumers Energy Continues Restoration Progress Following Powerful Wind Storm

Michigan Business Network
March 9, 2017 6:00 PM

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Crews Restore Service to Half the Electric Customers Affected by Outages

JACKSON, Mich., March 9, 2017 – Consumers Energy crews have since Tuesday restored more than 160,000 customers left without electric service by damaging winds that ripped across Michigan Tuesday and Wednesday. That edges the recovery work past the halfway point of the 319,000 customers served by the energy provider affected by this catastrophic event, which took down nearly 8,200 wires and broke more than 1,100 poles.

Because of the storm’s duration and statewide impact, some customers in the worst impacted areas may not have power restored until Sunday.

“Our workforce is in full motion and includes mutual assistance restoration crews from six different states, and we will continue our momentum until every customer affected by this week’s damaging winds has their power restored,” said Guy Packard, vice president of energy operations. “We work hard and safely in our customers’ cities, villages, towns and neighborhoods to show our commitment to providing hometown service and to show our appreciation for their continued patience.”

From lineworkers to damage assessors, wire guards and customer service representatives, more than 2,000 people are engaged in the electric restoration effort. An additional 181 workers have arrived from utilities in Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana to assist the crews in Michigan.

Customers can now sign up to get outage alerts and restoration times sent to a phone, email or text message, Text ‘REG' to 232273 or visit: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/alerts. Customers can also, report an outage, check the status of an outage and get useful tips what to do before, during and after a storm by visiting www.ConsumersEnergy.com/OutageCenter.

We urge the public to keep these safety tips in mind:
• Stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines and to call 911 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050.
• Be alert to crews working along roads. Drivers should slow down or stop and wait for oncoming traffic to clear so they safely can go past workers on roadsides.
• Operating a generator may produce hazardous levels of carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and deadly gas. Never use a generator in an attached garage, basement or near any air intakes, and never fuel a generator when it is running.
• Customers concerned about staying in their home during the colder temperatures are encouraged to call 2-1-1. Local emergency management officials are collecting information from 2-1-1 centers to help determine if warming centers need to be opened.

To view specific counties and regions most affected by electric interruptions, please visit: https://www.consumersenergy.com/outagemap

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

The next storm restoration release will be at approximately 9:30 p.m., Thursday.

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