GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., July 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately 26,700 Consumers Energy electric customers remain without service due to the thunderstorms that swept across the state Thursday. Since early Thursday, more than 111,000 customers have been affected by weather-related outages.
"As we complete power restoration in other parts of the state tonight, our focus continues on the hardest hit areas in central and eastern Michigan," said Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy vice president of energy delivery.
A majority of customers without electric service since early Thursday are expected to be restored by late tonight. Customers in the hardest hit counties, including Genesee, Ingham and Clinton, as well as areas south and east of Jackson affected by storms Thursday afternoon may not receive electric service until Saturday or Sunday. Estimates will be updated as assessment and repairs continue. Estimates may also be affected by additional thunderstorm activity.
As of 8:30 p.m. Friday, the approximate numbers of Consumers Energy electric customers remaining without service in the following counties were: Clinton (2,134); Eaton (918); Genesee (13,380); Gratiot (1,449); Hillsdale (726); Ingham (550); Jackson (191); Livingston (813); Montcalm (1,371); Oakland (541); Saginaw (1,192); and Shiawassee (3,666).
More than 500 line workers from Consumers Energy and several other utilities and electric contractors from across and outside Michigan continue working to restore power as safely and quickly as possible. Rochow estimated more than 1,000 Consumers Energy employees are dedicated full-time to the power restoration efforts, including those assessing system damage, guarding downed wires and customer call center representatives.
With hot weather expected across Michigan again Saturday, Consumers Energy is encouraging residents to check on the well-being of the elderly and those living alone. Residents are also encouraged to use free, public cooling centers that have been opened across the state by the American Red Cross and local emergency management agencies. A list of cooling center locations can be found at www.consumersenergy.com or by calling 2-1-1 locally.
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.
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.
For more information regarding Consumers Energy, access our website at: www.consumersenergy.com
The next storm update will be at approximately 4:00 A.M.
SOURCE Consumers Energy