Damaging storms knock out power.

August 11, 2021

Storm damage in Pentwater.

Damaging storms knock out power.

More severe weather possible this afternoon and evening.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

OCEANA COUNTY — Crews were busy cleaning up debris from downed trees and restoring power due to fallen power lines Wednesday, Aug. 11, after severe thunderstorms caused damage around the county over night.

Northern areas of the county were hit particularly hard by the damaging storms with strong winds. Power was out in downtown Pentwater Wednesday morning causing businesses and offices to close.

“Heavy storms swept through the state last night causing power outages for many Great Lakes Energy (GLE) members,” states a GLE press release. “More than 20,000 members across 19 counties are without power.

 “Most of the damage caused by the storms is in Barry, Kalkaska, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Newaygo, Oceana and Osceola counties. Other counties impacted by storm activity include Allegan, Antrim, Charlevoix, Clare, Crawford, Grand Traverse, Kent, Manistee, Missaukee, Montcalm, Muskegon, Otsego, Ottawa and Wexford.

 “GLE line crews, along with the assistance of contract crews, responded to outages throughout the night. Efforts to restore service continue, as GLE line crews further assess and respond to widespread damage. If power is not restored by 10 p.m. tonight, GLE members requiring power should make alternative plans for the overnight hours.

 “Great Lakes Energy members are reminded to stay away from downed power lines and also stay clear of trees and limbs hanging on the lines. Current outage information by counties and zip codes is updated on the Great Lakes Energy website, www.gtlakes.com, by visiting Storm Central. 

Downed tree branches wrapped up in power lines in Pentwater.

 “Great Lakes Energy members can report their power outage online, on the Great Lakes Energy app, or by calling 888-485-2537.”

“Consumers Energy crews are starting to restore power this morning to over 200,000 homes and businesses after a fast-moving storm brought high winds and caused major damage across Michigan late Tuesday night,” states a Consumers Energy press release.

“Mother Nature delivered a powerful punch to Michigan. Now, Consumers Energy’s crews will be working to repair damage and restore power to customers who count on us,” said Guy Packard, Consumers Energy’s vice president for electric operations. “Our crews will be working around the clock this week to turn the lights back on for everyone who was affected by this devastating storm.”

Severe weather started hitting West and Northern Michigan after 9 p.m. Tuesday. Winds reportedly as high as 70 mph knocked down trees, limbs and power lines. Crews started assessing damage and restoring power overnight, and their work likely will continue through the week.

Customers can report an outage and check the status of an outage by visiting www.ConsumersEnergy.com/OutageCenter. Customers can also 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.

“We appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to restore power as quickly and safely as we can,” Packard said. “We also are watching for the prospect of more storms later tonight and we encourage people to take steps to stay safe and be ready for the possibility of additional power outages.”

Packard urged people to stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines, keep children or pets away, and report the issue by calling 9-1-1 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050. Consumers Energy asks the public to keep a safe distance from crews due to health precautions and to allow them to do their work.

Consumers Energy also asks the public to keep important safety tips in mind:

  • Be alert to crews working along roads. Drivers should slow down or stop and wait for oncoming traffic to clear so they safely can go past workers on roadsides.
  • Call 2-1-1 if you are looking for help connecting to resources that offer assistance in your community. 2-1-1 is a free statewide service.
  • Never use a generator in an attached garage, basement, enclosed patio or near any air intakes. Doing so could cause a generator to produce hazardous levels of carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and deadly gas.
  • 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.
  • 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. Crews will reconnect the wires to a home, but only a licensed electrician can repair or replace a mast or a cable.

The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids issued a “hazardous outlook” for Wednesday, which includes Oceana County.

“There is an enhanced risk of severe weather for this evening. The main threat will be damaging winds. Secondary threats will be large hail, tornadoes and heavy rain,” states NWS.

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