Heavy snow leaves thousands in dark
UPDATE as of 9:30pm:
Approximately 18,600 Consumers Energy customers are without services because of the powerful winter storm.
The approximate number of Consumers Energy electric customers remaining without services are: Benzie (539), Cheboygan (1.038), Clare (5,082), Crawford (1,553), Genesee (413), Gladwin (1,499), Grand Traverse (746), Isabella (720), Mecosta (358), Osceola (328), Otsego (403), Roscommon (3,366).
A total of 1,650 Consumers Energy and contract employees are working to restore power. In addition, 140 contract utility workers from Ohio and Indiana have arrived in Michigan to assist.
A majority of customers who have been without electric service since Thursday morning should have their power restored by late Friday. Customers in the hardest hit counties may not have their power restored until late Saturday.
Heavy snow and gusty winds are taking their toll on trees and power lines, leaving thousands of homes around Northern Michigan without power.
As of late Thursday evening, Presque Isle Electric and Gas Co-op was reporting 1200 households still without service. During the peak of the day, that number had climbed up to 2300 homes.
Great Lakes Energy reports their hardest hit areas were focused around their Kalkaska and Reed City service districts. While their crews were able to restore knocked-out service to more than 16,000 customers, a little more than 7000 remained in the dark as of late this afternoon.
As of 9 pm, Cherryland Electric Co-op is reporting several hundred homes in the Lake Ann, Interlochen and Lake Leelanau areas are without power. They also have much smaller outages areas effecting fewer homes ranging from Copemish to East Bay Township.
As of 9 pm tonight, Consumers Energy reported scattered outages. More than a thousand homes in both Lake Ann and Higgins Lake are in the dark, with smaller numbers around Glen Lake, Frankfort, Crystal Lake, Interlochen.
All of the companies say they have crews working on restoring service, but admit that as the wind picks up in intensity during the overnight hours, more outages are likely to surface.