Washington, D.C. – December 28, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Nearly all of the more than 183,000 Consumers Energy customers affected by a powerful Christmas Eve storm are expected to have their electricity restored today.
As of 4 a.m. today, approximately 13,000 customers remained without service.
Consumers Energy is on track to restore nearly all customers by the end of Sunday. For the hardest hit areas in Northeast Michigan, including portions of Alcona, Iosco, Gladwin, Ogema, Oscoda and Roscommon counties, restoration will continue into Monday.
In other areas where power has been restored, Consumers Energy is asking customers who are still without power to call 1-800-477-5050 or report it online at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/outagecenter, to verify their outage. Even if customers have reported the outage earlier, the verification is a helpful planning tool for crews focusing on remaining outages after such a large storm event.
More than 1,700 workers from Consumers Energy, Michigan contractors and crews from five other U.S. states are engaged in the restoration effort. The storm brought down trees and damaged or destroyed hundreds of utility poles.
“While we have restored more than 90 percent of the customers affected by this holiday storm, we will not rest until all the lights are back on,” said Mary Palkovich, the company’s vice president of energy delivery. “We remain focused on completing the restoration safely and thank our customers for their patience and understanding, especially during the Christmas season.”
People are encouraged to regularly visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/outagecenter, click on the online outage map and then click on individual outage areas for estimated restoration times. Consumers Energy is updating these restoration times regularly as work continues across Michigan. The online map may be accessed by both computers and mobile devices.
Palkovich reminds customers to stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines and anything a downed line might be touching and to immediately call 9-1-1 and Consumers Energy at 1-800-477-5050.
Consumers Energy residential and business customers can sign up to receive outage alerts. Residential customers can visit Consumers Energy’s new website to set their alert preferences. Business customers can sign up for text alerts by texting REG to 232273 (CECARE) and providing their account number when prompted.
As of 4 a.m., counties most affected by electric interruptions were: Alcona (1,886); Antrim (792); Charlevoix (190); Cheboygan (277); Clare (675); Crawford (662); Emmet (107); Gladwin (1,415); Iosco (1,370); Mecosta (736); Missaukee (215); Montcalm (256); Ogemaw (685); Osceola (411); Oscoda (990); Roscommon (1,412); and Wexford (399).
Consumers Energy officials also offered the following 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. Michigan law requires drivers to slow down while they go around the flashing amber caution lights used by electric and other utility vehicles. Bright signs, cones and other temporary traffic control devices are used to alert motorists.
If using a generator, contact a licensed electrician to ensure that it is properly connected and make certain it is isolated from the company’s electric distribution system. Never use a generator in an attached garage, basement or near any air intakes, and never fuel a generator when it is running.
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.
Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
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Media Contacts: Debra Dodd, 517-545-8711 or Roger Morgenstern, 616-530-4364