Winter Storm Could Cause Hazardous Travel, Outages This Weekend

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch affecting much of the state, including Tuscola, Saginaw, Bay and Midland counties from late Friday night through Sunday morning.

Heavy mixed precipitation is possible. Total snow accumulations of up to two inches and ice accumulations of three-tenths to one-half of an inch are possible as well. Winds could gust as high as 45 mph.

Power outages and tree damage are likely due to the ice and strong winds. Travel could be nearly impossible. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches. The NWS advises residents to prepare for the possibility of extended power outages and avoid travel if possible.

This storm will likely lead to downed wires and power outages that could last several days. Hazardous road conditions during and immediately after the storm may delay restoration and damage assessment work as we keep safety our top priority.

Consumers Energy reminds the public to stay at least 25 feet away from a downed wire and anything it is touching. Report downed wires by calling 9-1-1 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050. Always assume a downed wire, even if not arcing and sparking, is energized. Our crews are ready to respond as quickly as possible, to make situations safe and restore power.

In addition to being aware of possible downed wires, the public is reminded, if they lose power, to 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. Portable generators should be operated 25 feet outside of any building, away from windows, doors and vents.