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Strong storms knock out power across Michigan

Photographer: Dave Young via Flickr

More than 750,000 customers across Michigan are without power Thursday morning, following a second day of strong storms sweeping across the state.

More than 225,000 of those outages are among Consumers Energy customers.

“We continue to be grateful for the patience of our friends and neighbors as we work to bring the lights back on,” said Guy Packard, Consumers Energy’s vice president for electric operations. “The storms that have struck our state should finally subside today, and we are confident that over 500 crews from Michigan and across the country will help bring back power to many of our customers.”

The outages are widespread, including more than 12,000 Great Lakes Energy customers in mid and northern Michigan. Outages are also being reported in the WCMU listening area by Cloverland Electric, Homeworks Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Presque Isle Electric and Gas, and Cherryland Electric.

But the most outages by far are in southeast Lower Michigan. DTE Energy says over 500,000 of its customers in metro Detroit and surrounding areas are without power this morning.

Consumers Energy says crews from as far away as New York, Tennessee and Missouri are making their way to Michigan to help with restoration efforts.

According to Consumers Energy, people should stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines, and keep children and pets away. The company says all downed powerlines should be reported to 9-1-1, and to your power company.

If you are without power, Consumers Energy is offering some other advice:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Power companies 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.
Mike Horace is WCMU's Radio Program and Operations Manager.