GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., July 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately 70,600 Consumers Energy electric customers are without service due to the thunderstorms that swept across the state earlier today. Since early this morning, more than 97,000 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: Clinton (8,850); Eaton (960); Genesee (36,410); Gratiot (3,260); Hillsdale (600); Ingham (1,980); Ionia (900); Isabella (2,180); Jackson (40); Kent (380); Lake (35); Livingston (3,480); Manistee (290); Mecosta (410); Monroe (280); Montcalm (5,870); Oakland (600); Ottawa (130); Saginaw (4,430); and Shiawassee (8,060).
Utility, line clearing and contract crews have been working to restore power since early Thursday morning. Additional crews are being added to this effort to respond to customer needs. A majority of customers without electric service are expected to be restored by late Friday. Customers in the hardest hit counties, including Genesee, Ingham and Clinton, may not receive electric service until Saturday or Sunday. Estimates will be updated as assessment and repairs continue.
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.
With the extreme temperatures continuing today across Michigan, cooling centers are being opened in the hardest hit areas by the American Red Cross and emergency management agencies. Further details are available on the Consumers Energy web site. Customers who need shelter or assistance should call 2-1-1 for a list of available services in their area.
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. 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 6.8 million of the state's nearly 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
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SOURCE Consumers Energy