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Consumers Energy Makes Significant Progress

Michigan Business Network
March 10, 2017 10:15 PM

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Restoring Nearly 280,000 Customers Affected by Wind Storm Damage

JACKSON, Mich., March 10, 2017 – Consumers Energy employees, contractors and mutual assistance crews from six states working around the clock have restored power to more than 280,000 customers affected by this week’s damaging wind storm.

The vast majority of customers without electric service should have power restored by midnight Saturday. In some of the hardest areas, including portions of Barry, Calhoun, Ionia, Jackson, Kent and Lenawee counties restoration work will continue into Sunday. As of 9 p.m., approximately 60,000 customers remained without power.

“We appreciate the patience of all customers impacted by this devastating wind event and want to assure them our crews will continue working diligently through the night and into the weekend until service is restored for every customer,” said Dan Malone, senior vice president of energy resources. “Our top priority is to keep working safely, and we encourage our Michigan friends and neighbors to remain safe too. We urge customers concerned about staying in their homes as temperatures drop to call 2-1-1 to get information about warming shelters. It’s also why we are asking even those who have power to check on the safety of family members, friends and neighbors, especially seniors and those who may have medical conditions.”

This week’s long-lasting winds of up to 60 mph took down nearly 9,000 electric wires and broke more than 1,200 poles across Consumers Energy’s service territory, which includes all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

From lineworkers to damage assessors, wire guards and customer service representatives, more than 3,300 people are engaged in electric restoration activities. An additional 166 crews from utilities in Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana are working alongside Consumers Energy crews in this effort.

Customers can 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.

Consumers Energy continues to share these important safety tips:
• Stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines. Call 911 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050 to report.
• Be alert to crews working along roads and “slow down and go around.” Drivers should slow down or stop and wait for oncoming traffic to clear then safely pass 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.
• Because temperatures are dropping, we ask our customers to reach out to family, friends and neighbors who may be impacted by this storm and make sure they are safe.
• Help keep pipes from freezing during low temperatures by maintaining a constant drip on faucets.

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 5 a.m., Saturday.

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