Ice Storm Results in Thousands of Power Outages Across Michigan 9:30 a.m. Update
Jackson, Mich. Sunday, December 22, 2013
A winter storm that brought freezing rain across much of southern Lower Michigan has left thousands of Consumers Energy customers without power.
Statewide, more than 155,000 Consumers Energy electric customers are without service. Since noon Saturday, more than 175,000 customers have been affected by weather-related outages.
“We have been preparing for this storm for several days and are working hard to safely to restore electric service,” said Mary Palkovich, the utility’s vice president of energy delivery. “Freezing rain not only brings down power lines but also causes treacherous driving conditions for our men and women responding to this storm. We appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to survey the damage, make areas with downed wires safe and restore power.”
As of 9:15 a.m., areas most affected by electric interruptions were: Allegan (4,706); Barry (14,415); Calhoun (6,103); Clinton (10,353); Eaton (9,446); Genesee (39,652); Gratiot (3,125); Ingham (12,607); Ionia (4,961); Jackson (824); Kalamazoo (4,532); Kent (21,958); Livingston (3,839); Montcalm (3,679); Ottawa (1,347); Saginaw (3,217) and Shiawassee (13,137). Updated outage information is available at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/outagemap.
With freezing rain persisting Sunday morning in portions of the state, assessment was continuing to determine estimated restoration times for customers. A significant number of customers who have been without electric service since midday Saturday may be without power for several days. Estimates will be updated as assessment and repairs continue. Additional storm activity may prolong restoration times.
Consumers Energy cautions residents to stay at least 25 feet away from any downed wires and to report them immediately by calling 1-800-477-5050 or their local law enforcement agency. The utility also reminds customers to be alert to utility crews working along roads and urges drivers to take extra precautions in those situations. In particular, drivers should slow down or stop and wait for oncoming traffic to clear so they safely can go past utility workers and equipment on roadsides.
Customers who lose electricity for an extended period of time may want to investigate if public shelters are available. In most counties, residents can dial 2-1-1 to receive shelter information or to request assistance. Before going to a shelter, residents are asked to contact their local emergency management office to confirm the availability of services.
Customers who call Consumers Energy to report a power outage 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. Outages can also be reported and restoration information obtained via Consumers Energy’s online outage map, at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/outagemap. The outage map may be accessed by both computers and mobile devices. Additional storm and power outage information is available at Consumers Energy’s online outage center, www.ConsumersEnergy.com/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 or near any air intakes, and never fuel a generator when it is running.
In some cases, the mast which holds the electric service wires to a customer’s home or business may have been damaged or torn away. Utility crews will reconnect the wires to a 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. 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.
Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
For more information regarding Consumers Energy, go to: www.ConsumersEnergy.com or join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/consumersenergymichigan
The next storm update will be at approximately 1 p.m.