Power expected to be restored throughout Michigan on Saturday

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Energy companies expect power will be completely restored Saturday to thousands of customers left in the dark after severe thunderstorms swept Michigan earlier this week.

More than 500,000 people lost power as storms occurred in southeast Michigan on Tuesday and Wednesday. National Weather Service meteorologists say storms started after a strong wave swept over the Great Lakes while an unstable low-level air mass was in place. 

Wind damage was widespread across Michigan with trees and tree limbs reported down in Grosse Pointe Woods, Dearborn and Harper Woods. A garage fire was reported in Grosse Pointe Woods after power lines fell onto trees and sparked the blaze. Grosse Pointe public safety officials confirmed crews were battling multiple house fires in the suburb and surrounding communities. 

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.

Consumers Energy expects to complete restoration Saturday for the remaining 37,000 customers without power. About half of the customers are in Branch and Calhoun counties. Check Consumers outage updates online.

Since Tuesday afternoon, more than 270,000 customers were affected by the wind exceeding 70 mph, toppling trees along with 5,000 electric wires and breaking 300 poles, the company said.

More than 2,000 Consumers Energy employees, in-state contractors and crews from Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee and Alabama are involved in the restoration effort.

“Our crews have worked through the night to put us in a good position this morning to complete restoration later today,” said Guy Packard, Consumers Energy’s vice president of electric operations, in a statement Saturday. “We know this has been a frustrating time for our customers, but we won’t rest until everyone is safely restored.”

Packard said on Saturday morning, 64 crews from DTE Energy were released after completing their storm restoration tasks to join the Consumers Energy effort. 

DTE Energy completed restoration to approximately 227,000 customers, thanking more than 1,000 crew members who worked around the clock to get lights back on.

DTE crews will be continuing clean up efforts through the weekend. The company asks residents to stay at least six feet away from crew members to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Residents should also remain vigilant and watch for downed power lines that could be hiding in hards or alleyways. 

"Look up to know what’s down before allowing children or pets outside to play. Assume any downed line is live and stay at least 20 feet back," DTE officials said.

A sunny and cool weekend is expected for southeast Michigan. Grab a jacket. Temperatures Saturday and Sunday will be near 70, but are about 6 to 12 degrees below averages for mid-June and northeast winds around 10 mph will make it feel chilly.

Extended forecast

Monday: Sunny, with a high near 79, low around 59. East wind 8 to 10 mph.

Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 86, low near 64.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 89, low near 66.

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 91, low near 61 overnight.

Friday: A chance of showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 91, low of 69.


Twitter: @SarahRahal_