Consumers Energy is responding with all hands on deck to a storm packing up to 70 mph winds which caused damage across Michigan and knocked out power to 205,000 Consumers Energy customers Tuesday night. At 11 a.m. crews had restored electric service to more than 38,000 impacted customers.
“We remain focused on restoring power to our residential and business customers as quickly and safely as possible,” said Guy Packard, Consumers Energy’s vice president for electric operations. “With high temperatures expected across the state, we are also encouraging residents to seek cooling shelters near them by calling 2-1-1 for the latest open locations.”
Severe weather started hitting West and Northern Michigan after 9 p.m. Tuesday. Winds reportedly as high as 70 mph knocked down trees, limbs and power lines. Additional storm activity is being forecast for tonight and tomorrow. Consumers Energy continues to monitor the weather and is working to bring in additional crews from across Michigan and other states through mutual assistance programs.
A majority of affected customers are expected to be restored by the end of the day Friday, though additional storm activity could extend restoration times through the weekend. Customers can report an outage and check the status of outage by visiting www.ConsumersEnergy.com/OutageCenter. Customers can also 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.
Packard urged people to stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines, keep children or pets away, and report the issue by calling 9-1-1 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050. Consumers Energy asks the public to keep a safe distance from crews due to health precautions and to allow them to do their work.
Consumers Energy also asks the public to keep important safety tips in mind:
- 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.
- Call 2-1-1 if you are looking for help connecting to resources that offer assistance in your community. 2-1-1 is a free statewide service.
- Never use a generator in an attached garage, basement, enclosed patio or near any air intakes. Doing so could cause a generator to produce hazardous levels of carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and deadly gas.
- Consumers Energy will trim or remove trees interfering with electric restoration activities. Once safe to do so, clean-up of debris from tree trimming or removal during a storm emergency is the responsibility of individual property owners.
- 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.