Crews from as far away as Kentucky and other states will be in Michigan on Thursday, helping Consumers Energy crews restore electric service to customers following storms Tuesday night that pummeled much of the state with 70 mph winds, lightning and rain.
As of 4:30 p.m., Consumers Energy had restored service to about 55,000 customers from a total of 277,000 that have been affected. That total includes approximately 60,000 additional outages from new storms that are moving through Michigan Wednesday afternoon. The utility is still assessing any added damage from thunderstorms that moved through early Thursday morning.
Mutual assistance crews from Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio will join more than 300 Consumers Energy and contract crews.
“Our top priority remains to restore power as quickly and safely as possible to affected customers, said Guy Packard, Consumers Energy’s vice president for electric operations.
Those clearing storm debris are advised to be aware of possible downed wires and report them to 9-1-1 or Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050 immediately while staying at least 25 feet away.
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.
Consumers Energy also shares these important safety tips:
- The company asks the public to keep a safe distance from crews due to health precautions and to allow them to do their work.
- 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, such as cooling shelters or other needs. 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.