JACKSON, Mich. — Severe weather hit Jackson hard overnight Wednesday into Thursday leaving tens of thousands of people without power. Road closures from flooding and downed trees and power lines were seen throughout the area.
Jackson County received close to five inches of rain with gusts up to 70 miles per hour. Jackson County Transportation officials say this morning was something they haven't seen before.
"The winds were very high powered. It was scary. Our director of operations said he'd never seen anything with the winds like that. So, that's why the trees are coming down," Director of Engineering Angela Kline said.
It wasn't just the winds as multiple streets were impassible from standing water. Boardman Road next to Interstate 94 was one of them.
"That area over there it’s near wetlands so it’s a slightly lower area of the whole township and county. With five inches of rain though that is definitely something that was really hard for the water to drain away quickly," MDOT Jackson Office Manager Kelby Wallace said.
Road crews and Consumers Energy have been busy all day trying to clean up the mess mother nature left behind across mid-Michigan.
"We had two different waves of storms come through and we went from about 205,000 customers impacted from that first wave to up to 350,000," Consumers Energy Spokesperson Terry DeDoes said.
DeDoes says both waves in southern Michigan added 150,000 customers to that total putting this in rare territory for Consumers Energy.
"It puts it at one of our top 10 highest storms on our system of all time based on the number of customers," DeDoes said.
Crews are working tirelessly to get the lights turned back on. It could take time.
"There’s a lot of trees that came down on power lines and broke poles," DeDoes said. "I think more than 2,000 wires were reported coming down due to this storm so there's a lot of work ahead for our crews. They're going to be working 16 hour days around the clock working to restore our customers as safely as possible.”
Consumers Energy officials want to remind you to check their outage map so you know where outages are. You can also report outages there as well.
DeDoes says their goal is to have 100 percent of their customers back with power by Sunday.
Consumers Energy also wants to remind people for those without power if they're using a generator to keep it at least 25 feet from their house and not have it by an open window.
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