JACKSON, Mich. — Consumers Energy says electrical service should be restored by 11:30 p.m. Sunday to most customers still in the dark after high winds Thursday and Friday brought down power lines.
The hardest-hit areas will be restored by early Monday.
A High Wind Warning was in effect in several counties around Michigan on Friday. At the peak, wind gusts were clocked at nearly 60 miles-per-hour in some locations, including 58 miles per hour in Kent and Allegan counties, according to the FOX 17 weather team.
Consumers Energy says there were more than 88,000 reported outages across the Lower Peninsula, with 5,000 homes and businesses still without power as of Sunday morning. Consumers says more than 1,300 utility employees and contractors are working to safely restore power, including mutual-assistance workers from six states.
The Jackson, Michigan-based utility company lists the counties hit the hardest, as Genesee, Monroe, Saginaw, Montcalm and Kent.
“The strong winds that blew across the lower half of our state resulted in more than 1,600 downed power lines and over 200 broken poles,” said Guy Packard, the company’s vice president of electric operations.”
Consumers Energy offers the following weather-related safety tips:
* Stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines and keep children and pets away. Watch for downed lines when clearing fallen limbs and debris. Call 9-1-1 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050 to report downed wires.
* If operating a generator be aware that improper use may produce hazardous levels of carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and deadly gas. Never use a generator in an attached garage, basement or near any air intakes, and never fuel a generator when it is running.
* Consumers Energy will trim or remove trees interfering with electric restoration activities. Once safe to do so, clean-up of debris from tree trimming or removal during a storm emergency is the responsibility of individual property owners .
* Be alert to crews working along roads and “slow down and go around.” Drivers are urged to slow down or stop and wait for oncoming traffic to clear then safely pass workers on roadsides.
* Customers can sign up to get outage alerts and restoration times sent to a phone, email or text message. Text ‘REG’ to 232273 or visit: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/alerts. Customers can also report an outage, check the status of an outage and get useful tips about what to do before, during and after a storm by visiting the utility’s Outage Center page.