GENESEE COUNTY — Improving weather conditions have allowed for steady restoration progress overnight as Consumers Energy responds to the weekend ice storm which cut power to more than 260,000 of its customers.
“The calmer weather overnight has allowed us to progress in making more areas safe and restoring power,” said Mary Palkovich, the utility’s vice president of energy delivery. “We expect to have additional utility workers on the system during Monday to supplement our efforts. We’re working around the clock to get the lights back on.”
Consumers Energy cautions residents to stay at least 25 feet away from any downed wires and to report them immediately by calling 9-1-1 or Consumers Energy at 1-800-477-5050. 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.
Statewide, about than 201,000 Consumers Energy electric customers are without service. Since noon Saturday, more than 262,000 customers have been affected by weather-related outages.
Currently, more than 1,500 Consumers Energy employees and contractors are focused on the storm restoration effort, from line workers to call center representatives and damage assessors. More than 800 additional workers are on their way to Michigan to assist in the restoration. Many of those workers will be in place later today.
As of 4 a.m., areas most affected by electric interruptions were: Allegan (4,867); Barry (17,636); Calhoun (10,476); Clinton (11,003); Eaton (14,615); Genesee (61,766); Gratiot (3,707); Ingham (14,383); Ionia (5,671); Jackson (1,788); Kalamazoo (5,690); Kent (18,488); Livingston (3,377); Montcalm (1,714); Oakland (3,415); Ottawa (1,418); Saginaw (1,307) and Shiawassee (19,718).
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.
Currently, the estimated power restoration schedule for the hardest hit areas is:
Wednesday: Gratiot, Ionia, Montcalm and eastern Kent counties;
Thursday: Kalamazoo County, western Kent County and greater Grand Rapids;
Friday: Barry, Calhoun and Shiawassee counties;
Saturday: Some portions of Clinton, Eaton, Genesee, Ingham, Livingston, Oakland and Ottawa counties. — G.G.