A violent storm system packing high winds, lightning and hail has rolled across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula causing widespread electric outages to utility customers. A second wave of storms is anticipated later today bringing with it the possibility of additional power outages for customers throughout the state.
As of 8 a.m. Saturday, more than 228,000 customers remained without service after the initial storm system as associated high winds, lightning strikes, flooding rains and hail uprooted trees, brought down hundreds of electric lines and caused equipment damage in many areas. Locally, about 1,400 customers are without power in Saginaw County in the area southwest of Bridgeport with another 230 near Frankenmuth. Most of the power outages are south of Mt. Pleasant and throughout the Lansing and Grand Rapids areas.
Consumers Power reported 155,000 customers lost power in their system. DTE Energy reported an additional 96,000 thousand of their customers in Southeast Michigan lost power. 23,000 DTE customers have had power restored.
Guy Packard, vice president of electric operations for Consumers Energy said “Our crews are working around the clock to restore service to our customers, but this will be a multi-day restoration effort.”
Packard said “We encourage those affected by the storm to seek alternative ways of staying cool during the extreme temperatures our state is experiencing, including staying hydrated and visiting cooling shelters if needed, a list of which is available by calling 2-1-1. We also appreciate friends, family and neighbors checking on one another, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, during this time.”
More than 420 downed wires have been attributed to the storm so far. Packard urged customers and the general public 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 or Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050.
Customers can also report an outage, check the status of an outage and get useful tips what to do after a storm by visiting www.ConsumersEnergy.com/OutageCenter.