GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., July 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately 68,600 Consumers Energy electric customers are without service due to the thunderstorms that swept across the state earlier today and again late this afternoon. Since early this morning, more than 104,000 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: Branch (390); Clinton (6,338); Eaton (1,916); Genesee (31,932); Gratiot (2,455); Hillsdale (5,678); Ingham (961); Ionia (472); Isabella (362); Jackson (459); Kent (1,197); Lake (165); Lenawee (327); Livingston (3,577); Manistee (37); Mecosta (237); Monroe (81); Montcalm (4,539); Oakland (525); Saginaw (1,644); and Shiawassee (4,735).
"We appreciate the patience of our customers as more than 160 crews from Consumers Energy and contractors work to restore power from Thursday morning's storm," said Garrick Rochow, the company's vice president of energy delivery. "We expect additional assistance on Friday from contract crews within and outside Michigan. The storm's widespread damage coupled with extremely hot weather is challenging our crews, but they are committed to getting the job done as safely and quickly as possible."
A majority of customers without electric service since early Thursday are expected to be restored by late Friday. 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.
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.
Cooling centers opened Thursday by the American Red Cross and local emergency management agencies are also expected to be open Friday. A list of cooling centers is available on the homepage of the company's website, www.consumersenergy.com. 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.
For more information regarding Consumers Energy, access our website at: www.consumersenergy.com
The next storm update will be at approximately 4 AM Friday.
SOURCE Consumers Energy