4 Safety Tips as Storm Power Restoration Continues in Michigan
- Reduce risks of carbon monoxide poisoning: Home generators and other forms of home heating can release deadly carbon monoxide (CO), an odorless and colorless gas that is potentially fatal. Never use a generator indoors, in a garage, basement or near any air intakes and never fuel a generator when it is running. People should never use ovens, propane grills, etc. to heat their homes, because it could cause CO poisoning. Purchasing CO detectors is strongly recommended. Carbon monoxide symptoms, flu-like
- Drivers should use extreme caution in areas without power: With continued power outages, many road intersections have non-working traffic signals. Stop at intersections and make sure it is safe to proceed before entering the intersection or crossing a railroad line. Watch for crews and equipment along roads and slow down or stop and wait for oncoming traffic to clear.
- Stay 25 feet away from downed wires: This storm has produced a record number of downed power lines, so remember, if you see a downed wire stay 25 feet away – about two car lengths – and call 1-800-477-5050 immediately. Be careful of wires that may be entangled in storm debris and never touch anything a power line may be touching.
- Keep pipes from freezing: With colder temperatures, residents without power who have municipal-provided water are encouraged to open their faucets for a constant drip to help keep pipes from freezing.
As of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, approximately 116,000 customers were without power. In all, the storm caused more than 348,000 outages, or more than 19 percent of the utility’s 1.8 million electric customers. It is the company’s largest Christmas-week storm in its 126-year history and its largest ice storm in more than 10 years.
More than 2,900 field and office employees from Consumers Energy, Michigan-based contractors and workers from 11 states and Washington, D.C. are focused on the storm restoration. An additional 140 utility workers from Georgia, North Carolina and Missouri are en route to the Flint area, the hardest hit by the ice storm.
Restoration times may be affected by additional storm activity, additional damage and as damage assessments are collected. Because temperatures have remained below freezing, ice remains on trees and electrical equipment, causing additional damage and power outages in some areas.