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A holiday weekend winter storm is putting Consumers Energy on guard against potential power outages

Posted at 7:00 PM, Dec 22, 2022

JACKSON, Mich. — Heavy snow, freezing temperatures and damaging wind gusts are all expected with this winter storm and with that combination in a flash the power could go out.

“We know that with the prospect of 50 mile per hour winds or worse that’s what can affect trees, limbs, branches and cause power outages,” Consumers Energy Media Relations Manager Brian Wheeler said.

And, with a projected winter storm this wicked, the Consumers Energy storm team gets to work to monitor the weather and get crews on standby.

“We’ve been making a lot of investments to strengthen the grid to make sure our system is better than before and what that’s going to mean hopefully is that we’ve cleared more trees and branches away from power lines,” Wheeler said.

He says the snow itself isn’t a major concern for them, but the ice and wind is.

“In many cases that’s going to be pre-positioning people and crews, making sure we have equipment that’s as close to where as we think there might be power outages,” Wheeler said. “If we can get out folks rested and ready for action, that really makes a big difference because then we can get restoring power very quickly. Our line workers will work as long as 16 hours in the day and then do it all over again in a situation like this.”

If the power does go out, they recommend to:

  • Charge all devices and have an emergency battery or charging station available
  • Make sure you have an emergency kit including necessities like flashlights, food and water
  • Turn off power strips and unplug electronics 
  • Have a battery operated radio on standby

“We always appreciate people’s patience when there’s bad weather. When there are power outages especially around the holidays we don’t want to be dealing with this situation either,” Wheeler said.

But, they have before and are trained for situations like this.

“We hope people understand that Consumers Energy is preparing and we’re going to do the best we can to get power back on quickly,” Wheeler said. “Keep in touch with and with our online outage map and we’ll be working out there day and night to make sure we restore power.”

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