JACKSON, Mich., Feb. 8, 2019 – Crews have worked through the night following back-to-back waves of icy precipitation in west Michigan. Strong winds overnight also caused additional outages on Consumers Energy’s system.
Locally, Whitehall District Schools closed Friday because of a power outage. Consumers Energy crews and local fire departments continue to respond to downed power line reports, the latest in Dalton Twp. on Agard Rd.
Dalton Twp. Fire Chief Alan Styles posted Friday morning on Facebook, "What an unbelievable last 24 hours. The Dalton Twp FD responded to over 30 calls for service in a 24 hour period, including a commercial building fire with 20 mph winds and temps at -3. The guys and gals, just kept going and never complained (except when some were frozen solid during the 4 hr fire fight, but who wouldn’t). I know I’m missing someone but thanks to Muskegon Charter Twp FD, White Lake Fire Authority, & North Muskegon FD for a helluva job at the fire. Special thanks to Blue Lake FD & Holton FD for covering some calls during the day and during the fire. Canteen 450, ProMed Ambulance, those that brought us some food throughout the day.....and MOST OF ALL Muskegon Central Dispatch for handling an unbelievable amount of calls countywide throughout the day. We are still running on gen power at the firehouse but we will continue to be ready to serve (a little “battle worn”, but ready). To those still without power get ahold of me. We do have the ability to get you some basic needs at the firehouse (bathroom, shower, coffee, hot chocolate). Life is truly unpredictable, no matter what, stay positive. Be well my friends."
Electric interruptions rose steadily throughout the day Thursday as the region continued to battle freezing rain and high winds. Due to the winds and precipitation, our crews saw additional downed lines overnight Thursday and into today. We remind residents to be aware of the potential for additional downed electric lines and to stay at least 25 feet away from the downed wires and report them by calling 9-1-1 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050.
“We appreciate our customers’ patience as our crews continue working around the clock to restore power safely to our neighborhoods across Michigan,” said Guy Packard, Consumers Energy vice president of electric operations. “We now enter the phase to assess the additional damage caused by overnight winds, which were as high as 55 mph.”
Since 1 a.m. Wednesday, approximately 229,000 customers have lost electric service as a result of the ice storms. As of 4:30 a.m. today, about 153,215 Consumers Energy customers remained without power. A majority of affected customers are expected to have their service restored by late Sunday. Final restoration for customers in the hardest hit areas may continue into Monday.
We look forward to the addition of 179 out of state crews arriving today, on top of the 53 out of state crews that arrived yesterday. Crews arriving today to aid in the restoration of our customers come from Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa and Tennessee through Great Lakes Mutual Assistance. These crews are in addition to the more than 1,200 Consumers Energy employees and contractors engaged in the restoration from damage assessors to call center representatives and lineworkers.
In addition to concentrating on the hard-hit west Michigan area by clearing trees from lines, replacing crossarms, restringing line and making other repairs to restore customers, Consumers Energy is responding to scattered outage across northern Michigan caused by high winds.
Consumers Energy urges the public to keep these important safety tips in mind:
• Call 2-1-1 if you are looking for help connecting to temporary shelter or other 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.
• Be alert to utility 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.
• 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.
Consumers Energy customers can 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.
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.