Consumers Energy Crews to Travel to East Coast on Monday, Ready to Help as Blizzard Approaches

More than 50 Employees Dispatched, Another 100 Contractors Traveling East

Jan 25, 2015, 22:14 ET from Consumers Energy

JACKSON, Mich., Jan. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy is mobilizing more than 50 employees and equipment to assist New York and New England energy providers bracing for a severe winter storm expected Monday and Tuesday.

The Consumers Energy contingent of utility crews, technicians, mechanics and supervisors from around Michigan are expected to leave Dundee by 9 a.m. Monday. Another 100 contractors are being released from work on Consumers Energy's electric system to help restore power on the East Coast.

"We are ready and willing to assist East Coast communities as they prepare for a storm that could cause significant damage," said Michele Kirkland, Consumers Energy vice president of energy operations. "We have been fortunate in the past to be helped by out-of-state crews, and with fair weather here in Michigan, this is an opportunity for us to help them."

Blizzard conditions are forecast for parts of New York and New England, starting at noon Monday, with the potential for hurricane-force winds and two feet of snow.

Consumers Energy crews and contractors will travel initially to New York state, although where they work will depend on storm damage. They could work on the East Coast for a week or more.

Consumers Energy crews last traveled to East Coast states after Hurricane Sandy struck in late 2012. Crews were last dispatched out of Michigan in March 2014 ahead of an expected ice storm in Kentucky.

Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.5 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

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MUTUAL ASSISTANCE: Consumers Energy crews are providing work in response to requests for mutual assistance from energy providers. Consumers Energy typically honors mutual assistance requests as long as crews are not needed for immediate work in Michigan.

SERVING MICHIGAN: "While our employees help the East Coast, the Michigan communities we serve can rest assured we have enough crews to meet their needs," Vice President Michele Kirkland said.

SOURCE Consumers Energy