For some in storm-damaged Michigan, power won't return until weekend

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

About 110,000 electric utility customers remain without power Friday morning after severe thunderstorms swept through the state Tuesday and Wednesday, officials said.

The storms knocked power out to about 500,000 of Jackson-based Consumers Energy's and Detroit-based DTE Energy's customers across Michigan.

More than 1,600 employees and in-state contractors are working to restore power to Consumers Energy customers across the state, the company said Friday.

On Friday, Consumers Energy officials said the company had restored power to 185,000 of its 272,000 customers who lost electricity due to this week's storms.

During an online news conference Friday, Guy Packard, Consumers Energy vice president of electric operations, said crews continued working to restore power to 85,000 of its customers as of about 11 a.m. Friday.

Many customers should have power restored by the end of Friday, he said. However, work in areas with heavier damage, including Branch, Calhoun, Kent, Jackson and Saginaw counties, will continue into the weekend, according to the company

Packard said he was pleased with crews efforts to restore power to the utility's customers.

"We had some very good execution by our crews and keeping after it," he said. "The damage was significant, which caused some lengthier times for restoration. But we're going to continue to bring the right resources that we need to ensure we get across the finish line by no later than Saturday night."

A DTE crew works on restoring power to damaged power lines along Charlevoix Street in Grosse Pointe Woods.

Tuesday's and Wednesday's storms with winds of more than 70 mph toppled trees and nearly 5,000 electric wires and broke more than 300 poles, according to the utility. Packard said storms Thursday night  knocked out power to an additional 25,000 customers on the east side of the state.

Meanwhile, DTE Energy crews were working to restore power to about 26,000 of its customers, according to the company's online Outage Map. The map says more than 98 percent of its customers have electrical service. The company tweeted "Fallen trees, branches and poles require extensive work and are often in areas that are not easily accessible by our trucks and crews. We appreciate your patience."

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez