Thousands without power following dangerous storms

Crews are trying to restore electric service across Michigan after high winds and severe thunderstorms took down trees and powerlines.

Update: 10:20 pm : Consumers Energy crews have made progress in restoring service to customers. As of 10 pm, around 158,000 customers statewide are still without power. Cosumers reports 8,411 homes without power in Clare County, 2,580 in Roscommon County, 1,157 in Newaygo County, 595 in Crawford County, and 310 in Mecosta County. The utility provider is working to get power back on, but admits that it could be Thursday or Friday for many customers, and in some isolated areas, power will not be restored until Saturday.

Crews are trying to restore electric service across Michigan after high winds and severe thunderstorms took down trees and powerlines.

Consumers Energy reports more than 213,900 customers are

without power

in the state after winds exceeding 60 mph hit the area Sunday. More than 17,000 customers are impacted by the outages in Northern Michigan.

"We have been working throughout the night to assess the damage from Sunday's severe weather and make situations safe for the public," said Mary Palkovich, the utility's vice president of energy delivery. "We appreciate the patience of our customers as we work safely to restore power across the state. We have out-of-state contract crews arriving Monday to provide additional assistance."

A majority of customers who have been without electric service since Sunday afternoon should have their power restored by late Wednesday.

Harder hit areas may not have their electric service restored until Thursday. Estimates will be updated as assessment and repairs continue. Additional storm activity may prolong restoration times.

From line workers to customer call center representatives and on-site damage assessors, more than 1,300 Consumers Energy and contract employees are working on storm restoration efforts across the state. Additional contract utility crews from outside Michigan, some from as far away as Kentucky, are expected to be in the state later Monday.

Consumers Energy cautions residents to stay at least 25 feet away from any downed wires and to report them immediately by calling 1-800-477-5050 or their local law enforcement agency. The utility also reminds customers to be alert to utility crews working along roads and urges drivers to take extra precautions in those situations. In particular, drivers should slow down or stop and wait for oncoming traffic to clear so they safely can go past utility workers and equipment on roadsides.

Customers who lose electricity for an extended period of time may want to investigate if public shelters are available. In most counties, residents can dial 2-1-1 to receive shelter information or to request assistance. Before going to a shelter, residents are asked to contact their local emergency management office to confirm the availability of services.

Customers who call Consumers Energy to report a power outage are encouraged to use the utility's automated reporting option, available at 1-800-477-5050. Outages can also be reported and restoration information obtained via Consumers Energy's online outage map.

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 or near any air intakes, and never fuel a generator when it is running.

In some cases, the mast which holds the electric service wires to a customer's home or business may have been damaged or torn away. Utility crews will reconnect the wires to a 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. 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.

Presque Isle Electric and Gas estimates at the height of the outages, over 5,600 services lost power. Crews worked all night Sunday and have restored more than half of those services.

The are still about 1288 customers without power and the co-op anticipates additional outages if the wind persists throughout the day.

Cloverland Electric estimates there are approximately 1,200 customers under their service without power.

The AT&T area phone service outage is affecting Cloverland Electric Cooperativeâ??s ability to receive calls from its members. Until AT&T completes its repairs, members can contact our office using only the phone numbers listed below:

All members who have AT&T as their local service provider can contact Cloverland Electric by calling 906-635-6800.

All members who do not have AT&T as their local service provider can contact Cloverland Electric by calling 906-203-3004.