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High wind, rain knock out power to thousands in northern Michigan

Intense wind and frozen rain blew through much of northwest Michigan Tuesday night, resulting in thousands of power outages across the region.

According to outage maps, more than 5,000 Great Lakes Energy customers were without power as of 1 p.m. Wednesday — mainly in Emmet, Charlevoix, Antrim and Otsego counties.

GLE spokesman Brett Streby said the company is relocating crews from its service areas downstate and hiring contractors to repair power lines.

The National Weather Service in Gaylord recorded parts of the region saw wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour, resulting in fallen branches and debris.

GLE could not offer an estimated timeline for when all power would be restored but Streby said crews are “chipping away.”

“We are asking our members to be respectful and provide a wide berth to our staff that are out restoring right now,” Streby said Wednesday afternoon. “These are dangerous conditions. And for the members safety and the safety of our staff, we ask that they don't engage or disrupt their services.”

About 20 outages were recorded on Consumers Energy power outage map as of 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The high winds also caused the Mackinac Bridge to temporarily close Tuesday night.

And Charlevoix Public Schools canceled classes for Wednesday, saying in a Facebook post that it was due to the power outages.

See real time power restoration updates on GLE’s website.

Copyright 2024 Interlochen Public Radio. To see more, visit Interlochen Public Radio.

Michael Livingston reports for IPR from the tip-of-the-mitt – mainly covering Cheboygan, Charlevoix, Emmet and Otsego counties.