11:00 AM Storm Update
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Approximately 103,000 Consumers Energy electric customers are without service due to the winter storm that began early Sunday afternoon. Since that time, more than 172,000 customers have been affected by weather-related outages.
The approximate numbers of Consumers Energy electric customers remaining without service in the following counties are as follows: Allegan (370); Barry (150): Branch (7,700); Calhoun (11,000); Hillsdale (13,500); Jackson (960); Kalamazoo (38,300); Lenawee (18,000); Monroe (10,700); St. Joseph (2,200) and Van Buren (400).
Utility, line clearing and contract crews, including 120 utility crews from Indiana and Ohio, will continue to restore power throughout the day. A majority of customers without electric service are expected to be restored by late Thursday evening. Customers in the hardest-hit counties, including Branch, Calhoun, Hillsdale, Kalamazoo, Lenawee and Monroe, may not receive electric service until Friday. Estimates will be updated as assessment and repairs continue.
The sunshine is causing ice to melt from power lines and trees, and in some cases, causing additional electric outages. Consumers Energy encourages residents to be aware of falling ice conditions and to use caution.
Consumers Energy cautions area residents to avoid touching any downed wires and to report them immediately by calling 1-800-477-5050, or your local law enforcement agency.
Customers who call Consumers Energy to report no power are encouraged to use the utility’s automated reporting option, available at 1-800-477-5050. The service provides restoration information for each substation and circuit, and can be used to report an outage.
If using a generator, contact a licensed electrician to ensure that it is properly connected and, for the safety of our line workers, make certain it is isolated from the utility’s electric distribution system. Never use a generator in an enclosed area and never fuel a generator when it is running.
In some cases, the mast which holds the electric service wires to your home or business may have been damaged or torn away from the home. Utility crews will reconnect the wires to your home, but only a licensed electrician can repair or replace a mast or a cable.
Consumers Energy will trim or remove trees interfering with electric restoration activities. Clean up of debris from tree trimming or removal during a storm emergency is the responsibility of individual property owners.
Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy Corporation (NYSE: CMS), provides natural gas and electricity to more than six million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
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The next storm update will be at approximately 4:00 PM this afternoon.