(WXMI) — More than 156,000 Consumers Energy customers in Michigan are without power following Thursday morning’s ice storm.
The storm was widespread across the state but the Consumers Energy Outage Map shows the problem areas are in the southwest counties.
Most impacted customers are estimated to have power restored by the end of Sunday but some may not be serviced until Monday.
The energy service provider compares the weight of the half inch of ice that impacted southern Michigan to that of a baby grand piano, knocking down 8,000 power lines and resulting in more than 250,000 power outages.
Consumers Energy notes more damage may be caused by melting ice and powerful wind gusts.
Meanwhile, energy officials say widespread outages like this one is what prompted the company to initiate a five-year plan to update its infrastructure.
We’re told more than 500 crews are working Friday to restore power as the company proceeds to assess the damage.
Consumers Energy provided its first update on power restoration during a virtual conference Thursday afternoon.
Watch Thursday's virtual conference here:
The energy service provider held a second virtual conference on the following day, informing the public that restoration efforts have accelerated with ice acting as a reduced obstacle.
Watch Friday's virtual conference here:
“We are responding to the damage caused by this storm with an all-hands-on-deck effort to restore power as quickly and as safely as possible,” says Melissa Gleespen with Consumers Energy. “We understand how frustrating a power outage can be, and we are grateful for our customers’ patience and understanding as our crews work deliberately to get the lights back on.”
In Consumers Energy's most recent update, they say efforts to restore power have accelerated now that the worst of the ice storm has passed. We're told most of crews' efforts involve removing fallen trees and reconnecting wires.
They say 80,000 customers have had power restored as of Friday afternoon, accounting for about a third of the total impacted.
Gleespen reminds all Michiganders to maintain 25 feet of space between them and downed wires. Call both 911 and 800-477-5050 if you see any downed power lines.
Despite the monumental number of power lines that were knocked down, the energy service provider offered some good news, noting that not many power poles or "hard-to-replace assets" had been damaged as a result of the storm.
Report outages to Consumers Energy’s website.
Subscribe to receive updates on outages and restoration estimates online or by texting “REG” to 232273.
The energy service provider reminds everyone not to use generators inside garages and to call 211 if in need of a warming center or other assistance.
If you are without power and need a place to get warm, Kalamazoo County has resources set up.
READ MORE: Ice accumulation causing downed trees, power lines in Kalamazoo