Heavy wet snow and high winds have caused a significant number of power outages across southern Michigan early Wednesday morning. Statewide, 14,000 Consumers Energy electric customers are without service, many of them in the greater Jackson and Battle Creek areas.
“Our crews have been working all night and we are moving additional company and contractor crews to the heavily affected areas,” said Garrick Rochow, the utility’s vice president of energy delivery. “The heavy, wet snow is making travel treacherous this morning for everyone, including our crews. Safety of our employees and the public is our No. 1 priority. We appreciate the patience of our customers as we work to restore power as safely and quickly as possible.”
As of 8 a.m., areas most affected by electric interruptions were: Calhoun (3,048); Eaton (513); Hillsdale (637); Ingham (825); Jackson (3,737); Kalamazoo (460) and Washtenaw (793). Updated outage information is available at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/outagemap.
A majority of customers who have been without electric service since this morning should have their power restored by midnight tonight. Customers in the hardest hit areas, primarily Jackson County, may not receive electric service until 12 noon Thursday. Estimates will be updated as assessment and repairs continue. Additional storm activity may prolong restoration times.
Consumers Energy cautions residents to avoid touching 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 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 new online outage map, at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/outagemap. The outage map may be accessed by both computers and mobile devices.
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. 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.