Consumers Energy: 82,000 without power.

December 24, 2015

Damaging winds with gusts topping 60 mph have left more than 82,000 Consumers Energy customers across much of western and northern Michigan without power, according to a Consumers Energy press release.

Nearly 36,800 Great Lakes Energy members remain without power Thursday morning in all 26 counties served by the electric cooperative due to power line damage caused by the wind storm, according to a Great Lakes Energy press release.

Since 2 p.m. Wednesday, 90,000 Consumers customers have been affected, first by a line of thunderstorms followed by high winds. Wind speeds picked up significantly after midnight, causing downed trees, power lines and utility poles.

As of early Thursday morning, 524 Oceana County Consumers Energy customers were without power.

The storm so far has affected over 52,620 Great Lakes Energy members, which includes over 15,820 whose power has been restored in the last few hours plus the nearly 36,800 currently without power.

Most of the GLE outages are in parts of Antrim, Charlevoix, Crawford, Emmet, Kalkaska, Lake, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola and Otsego counties where the damage was the most severe.

Winds are expected to reduce by Thursday afternoon, providing favorable weather for damage assessment and power restoration. While assessment is ongoing, full power restoration in hardest hit areas is not expected before Sunday. Additional storm activity also may affect estimated restoration times.

“The calendar may say it’s Christmas Eve, but our crews are on the job, making dangerous situations safe and working to restore power as quickly as possible,” said Mary Palkovich, Consumers Energy vice president of energy delivery. “We appreciate our customers’ patience, especially on a holiday, while we assess the damage and get repairs made safely and efficiently.”

The public is encouraged to check regularly for updated restoration information at the online outage map at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/outagecenter, where outages can also be reported and power outage information is available.

Palkovich reminded customers to stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines and anything they are touching and to immediately call 911 or Consumers Energy at 1-800-477-5050.

All available Great Lakes Energy repair crews are on the job and will be working daily until approximately midnight each day to restore power. Due to the severe widespread damage, many GLE members are not expected to get their power restored today.

Further progress reports will be issued as crews continue their repairs.  Restoration time will greatly depend on the weather and how quickly damaging winds will subside.

Great Lakes Energy members are reminded to stay away from downed power lines and also stay clear of trees and limbs that are hanging on the lines.

GLE members should report their outage by calling the electric cooperative’s automated, toll-free outage number:  1-800-678-0411.

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