JACKSON, Mich. – Consumers Energy crews finished a third straight night of restoration work, continuing their around the clock efforts that have restored power to 160,000 customers affected by a violent, damaging storm system that began Friday.
“We want the 60,000 customers who currently do not have electric service to know we are working diligently to restore their power as quickly and safely as we possibly can,” said Guy Packard, Consumers Energy’s vice president of electric operations. “We sincerely appreciate our customers’ patience, and continue to encourage people to check in on family, friends and neighbors, and seek out cooling centers or other resources in their communities as needed.”
Consumers Energy projects the majority of the affected customers will be restored by the end of the day Tuesday.
The storm system that began Friday evening and continued Saturday pummeled the state with fierce winds, lightning, flooding rains and hail, and knocked out power to over 220,000 homes and businesses. More than 2,800 downed wires have been attributed to the storm.
Packard emphasized that the more than 1,700 employees working in Michigan on behalf of Consumers Energy customers – including workers from energy providers from six other states – are taking safety precautions to protect co-workers, customers, the general public and to return safely to their families.
He urged the general public to stay 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.
Consumers Energy also 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 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 that 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 for what to do after a storm by visiting www.ConsumersEnergy.com/OutageCenter.
Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.