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      Crews work to restore power to thousands

      Consumers Energy crews work to restore power in the Grand Rapids area Sunday.

      Consumers Energy crews continued to work Sunday night and early Monday morning to restore power to thousands of customers.

      More than 135,000 customers have been affected since the beginning of the storm Saturday evening. As of 4:30 p.m., about 23,260 customers remain without service.

      "The wind picked up today as it ushered in cooler air, resulting in about 16,000 additional power outages across the state," said Mary Palkovich, Consumers Energy's vice president of energy delivery. "We continue to work day and night to get power restored as safely and quickly as possible."

      Because of the additional outages, customers may not see power back until later Tuesday.

      The areas most affected by electric interruptions are Genesee (1,129); Gratiot (489); Isabella (604); Kent (2,567); Mecosta (1,638); Lenawee (353); Mecosta (1,638); Midland (2.342); Montcalm (3,608); Muskegon (3,608); Newaygo (1,165) and Shiawassee (3,519).

      More than 100 Consumers Energy and 80 contractor line worker crews have been working in the storm-damaged areas along with more than 100 Consumer Energy contractor line clearing crews to restore energy service to Michigan communities. In addition, electric companies in Indiana and Ohio have sent about 40 crews to help restore service to Consumers Energy customers.

      Restoration progress could be delayed by heavy rains and winds that are expected to move through Michigan, on a similar path to Saturday's storms, through Monday. It is possible that severe weather could again lead to outages or alter projected restoration times.

      Meanwhile, Consumers Energy is also monitoring elevated river levels on the Muskegon River in Newaygo County and Tippy Dam in Manistee. Consumers says there is no current threat to the dam structure.

      "We are working closely with local emergency management officials in all counties where we have hydro plants but especially on the Muskegon and Manistee rivers, where river levels are higher," said William Schoenlein, Consumers Energy manager of hydroelectric and renewable generation. "We are working around the clock to stay on top of the changing river conditions."

      The public is encouraged to check the online outage map, where outages can also be reported and power outage information is available.