Restoration Underway as High Winds up to 60 mph Continue
JACKSON, Mich., March 8, 2017 – Sustained high winds have cut power to more than 140,000 Consumers Energy customers and outages are expected to continue into Wednesday evening.
Since Tuesday morning, more than 180,000 customers have been affected by downed trees and power lines due to high winds, some in excess of 60 mph. Tuesday’s more than 30,000 affected customers were primarily in northern Michigan. High winds across much of Lower Michigan are expected to continue until late Wednesday.
Because of the storm’s duration and statewide impact, some customers in the worst impacted areas may not have power restored until Sunday.
“We have crews working around the clock in difficult weather conditions and we appreciate our customers’ patience,” said Guy Packard, vice president of energy operations. “With the rough weather continuing, we expect this to be a multi-day restoration effort.”
From lineworkers to damage assessors, wire guards and customer service representatives, more than 1,600 people are engaged in the storm restoration effort. Consumers Energy is working to secure additional crews through an established mutual assistance process.
Customers can 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. The site is available via computers and mobile devices.
The public is especially reminded to keep these safety items 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.
• If using a generator, contact a licensed electrician to ensure that it is properly connected and make certain it is isolated from the company’s electric distribution system. Never use a generator in an attached garage, basement or near any air intakes, and never fuel a generator when it is running. Operating a generator without proper ventilation can create carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and deadly gas.
• In some cases, the mast which holds the electric service wires to a customer’s home or business may have been damaged or torn away. Crews will reconnect the wires to a home, but only a licensed electrician can repair or replace a mast or a cable.
As of 12:45 p.m., counties most affected by electric interruptions were: Alcona (2,351); Allegan (4,789); Antrim (1,005); Arenac (710); Barry (8,029); Bay (1,620); Branch (2,236); Calhoun (11,515); Clare (2,770); Clinton (2,264); Eaton (1,360); Genesee (10,109); Gladwin (1,060); Grand Traverse (457); Gratiot (3,340); Hillsdale (2,674); Ingham (4,239); Ionia (7,002); Iosco (2,076); Isabella (367); Jackson (11,849); Kalamazoo (6,001); Kalkaska (483); Kent (30,345); Lenawee (2,985); Livingston (1,924); Mecosta (1,478); Midland (6,124); Monroe (1,775); Montcalm (4,292); Newaygo (1,112); Oakland (1078); Ogemaw (1,288); Ottawa (2,993); Roscommon (1,533); Saginaw (5,537); Shiawassee (2,001); VanBuren (2,206); Washtenaw (885) and Wexford (348). 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 p.m.
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