Consumers Energy restores power to 150K Michigan customers hit by windstorms
Michigan’s major utility companies are making progress at restoring power across the state following the latest round of severe windstorms.
Consumers Energy officials said Saturday nearly 500 crews, including some from Canada, Ohio and Indiana, made tremendous strides and have restored electric service to more than 150,000 customers, or about 75% of those affected.
Wind gusts of up to 75 mph knocked down trees and limbs. More than 2,400 power lines were damaged and 170 poles snapped from the storm that swept through Michigan Wednesday night and Thursday.
“We’re proud of our crews who have been working relentlessly restoring power,” said Christine Wisniewski, one of Consumers Energy’s Officers in Charge for the storm event Saturday.
“These crews will continue working hard until the lights are turned back on for all our customers. We want to thank all our customers for their continued patience and cooperation as we complete our storm restoration work.”
In total, more than 191,000 customers lost power due to the windstorm.
Consumers Energy held three community events Friday in especially hard-hit areas of northern Michigan on the Leelanau Peninsula, in Falmouth, and in Mancelona. Other events are planned in the greater Mesick, Grant, Roscommon, Houghton Lake Heights and Beulah communities on Saturday.
Consumers Energy is asking the public to keep a safe distance from crews given health precautions and to enable them to safely complete their work.
The public is urged to use extra caution near downed wires, keeping at least 25 feet away from them and report wire issues by calling 9-1-1 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050.
DTE reported about 7,000 customers lost power Thursday due to downed lines. The power company had about 30,000 in total Thursday throughout southeast Michigan. The vast majority of customers were back on within 24 hours, DTE said.
"DTE had closely monitored the winds approaching our area and mobilized our crews early to address a potentially high number of outages. We had also called in crews from outside our area to help speed the work, said DTE spokesman Chris Lamphear Saturday.
Other parts of Michigan experienced much more severe winds and outages on Thursday, so we sent those outside crews to help our northern and western neighbors, while our on-site crews remained to restore DTE customers,'' Lamphear said.
The latest round of outages come after hundreds of thousands lost power Dec. 11 when DTE said severe wind gusts of up to 65 mph caused extensive damage, including downed wires, broken poles and tree-related damage. The severe weather last Saturday led to approximately 1,200 downed wires and 160,000 outages for DTE customers.
DTE deployed community vans to multiple locations through the weekend to distribute blankets, flashlights, phone chargers and other items to help customers in these hard-hit areas, said Lamphear.
Additionally, said Lamphear, DTE delivered thousands of bottles of water to areas that experienced the heaviest outages to help make sure these customers had access to clean water for drinking while our crews worked quickly and safely to restore their power.