High winds knocks out power to many in Michigan

MICHIGAN — A second day of damaging winds with stronger reported gusts left many Michigan residents without power on Wednesday.

For Consumers Energy customers, high winds reaching more than 50 mph have caused more than 120,000 outages across Michigan, including a small number of residents in Manistee County early Wednesday. However, all electricity has been restored for those customers.

For the most up-to-date information, visit the outage map at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/outagemap.

After restoring power to most of the nearly 16,000 GLE members affected by Tuesday’s first round of damaging winds, GLE lineworker crews assisted by outside line repair and tree trimming crews were again battling the winds Wednesday in their power restoration efforts.

The storm’s size and duration created extensive widespread powerline damage resulted in not all GLE members getting their power restored on Wednesday.

The windstorm affected nearly 33,000 Great Lakes Energy members in nearly all of the electric cooperative’s 26 county service area since it began Tuesday morning. Power has been restored to over 24,000 members so far, which left an estimated 7,737 still without power late Wednesday afternoon.

Of the 23 counties with GLE members without power, the largest outages were in parts of Allegan, Antrim, Barry and Newaygo counties.

Current outage information by counties and townships can be viewed on the Great Lakes Energy website, www.gtlakes.com.

Some areas in northern Michigan are without power because of high winds.

Cherryland Electric Cooperative reported 143 customers without power between Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties on their online outage map.

On Wednesday, Great Lakes Energy reported 838 members without power in Kalkaska County and 207 in Antrim County.

More than 350,000 utility customers were without power on Wednesday in southeast Michigan because of high winds.

DTE Energy reported 230,000 customers without power in southeast Michigan, and Consumers Energy is reporting 120,000 customers without power statewide.

“The outages are scattered across the region, with the hardest hit areas in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties,” DTE Energy said in an email updating the outages at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday

Many tree branches fell onto power lines causing outages, said DTE Energy spokeswoman Randi Berris. The gusting wind is causing the significant damage on the energy grid, she said.

“The winds are hitting our entire territory,” Berris said.

She said crews have been dispatched, but it’s hard to say when power will be restored to customers because the crews are still accessing the damage.

All residents are reminded to stay away from downed power lines and also stay clear of trees and limbs hanging on the lines.

“Customers should stay at least 20 feet away from all power lines and anything they may contact, and consider them live,” DTE Engergy said. “They are extremely dangerous. Treat every downed power line as if it is energized.”

The Detroit Free Press and Traverse City Record Eagle (TNS) contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply