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UPDATE: Consumers Energy reports over 50K people still without power Monday

Hillsdale County trees blocking road after ice storm
Downed trees, Audubon Blvd. in Jackson[85].jpg
Posted at 8:10 PM, Feb 22, 2023

LANSING, Mich. — Consumers Energy, a public utility company that covers the majority of Michigan, reported around 237,000 customers were without power when an ice storm hit southern Michigan Wednesday night.

UPDATE Monday, 2 p.m. | Consumers Energy is reporting around 1,600 outages with over 51,000 people affected.

Some of those outages are new ones being reported north of Grand Rapids from a winter storm that hit the area Monday.

UPDATE Friday, 4:30 p.m. | Consumers Energy sent out an update Friday afternoon saying their crews have restored power to over 90,000 homes and businesses.

According to their outage map, there are over 4,000 outages affecting over 159,000 people.

“As our crews continue to work to get the lights back on across southern Michigan, we want to be sure people are staying safe and warm heading into a chilly night,” said Melissa Gleespen, one of Consumers Energy’s officers in charge for the event, in a news release. “A free phone call to 2-1-1 can provide information about warming shelters or help for other basic needs. Let’s make sure our friends and neighbors get the help they need.”

UPDATE Friday, 11:30 a.m. | In a news release, Consumers Energy said they are beginning to do helicopter inspections to assess the damage in the hardest-hit areas.

As of 11 a.m., Consumers Energy has over 500 crews in Michigan working to fix the over 4,500 outages that have affected over 172,000 people.

UPDATE Friday, 10 a.m. | Consumers Energy is estimating that they have restored power to more than 65,000 customers so far.

As of 10 a.m., 91% of customers have power, and there are 4,482 outages reported affecting 171,719 people.

“Our crews are working round the clock to get power back to customers as quickly and as safely as possible,” said Norm Kapala, one of Consumers Energy’s Officers in Charge for the event, in a news release. “We still have a long way to go, but as our teams continue to work together to clear debris and assess damage, the restoration work will only speed up. We’re grateful for the patience and understanding of our customers as our crews continue their hard work.”

UPDATE Thursday, 8:45 p.m. | Consumers Energy says over 450 crews are working to restore power to affected customers.

The utility company says a majority of customers should have their power restored by Sunday, and the restoration efforts should be completed by the end of the day Monday.

At 8:45 p.m. Thursday, Consumers Energy is reporting 4,951 outages and over 197,000 customers without power.

UPDATE Thursday, 4 p.m. | Consumers Energy held a news conference Thursday afternoon to give some updates on their restoration efforts.

Two Consumers Energy vice presidents, Chris Laird and Greg Salisbury, gave updates on their crews efforts to restore power to south Michigan.

"We believe that many, if not most customers, will be restored Sunday, but restoration will continue into Monday," they said. "We thank our customers for their patience."

At 4 p.m. Thursday, there were still over 4,500 outages reported that were affecting over 201,000 people.

UPDATE Thursday, 1 p.m. | Our reporter Lauren Shields drove down to Hillsdale County to see the damage that the ice storm caused for herself.

She saw trees that had fallen into the road due to the weight of the ice covering them and most of the street lights were out.

Here is a video she took off of one Hillsdale County road:

Tree down in Hillsdale County road due to ice storm

The Hillsdale City Manager David Mackie said about 90% of the community lost power at some point in the past day.

UPDATE Thursday, noon | Consumers Energy has more than 300 crews out restoring power to areas hit with power outages.

By late Thursday morning, crews had restored power to more than 21,000 customers, but over 200,000 people are still without power as of noon Thursday.

The hardest hit areas were in south Michigan where counties like Jackson and Hillsdale saw almost a half-inch of ice covering power lines and trees. That is about the weight of a baby grand piano, according to Consumers Energy.

The utility company said they are dealing with more than 5,700 downed wires.

“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,” said Melissa Gleespen, one of Consumers Energy’s Officers in Charge for the event, in a news release. “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.”

UPDATE Thursday, 9 a.m. | Consumers Energy is reporting about 3,000 outages, which is affecting 201,000 customers.

Approximately 10% of customers do not have power.

“Now that the ice and freezing rain have largely passed, we’ve got boots fully on the ground assessing damage and determining where and when to send our crews,” said Norm Kapala, one of Consumers Energy’s officers in charge for the event, in a news release. “Our focus continues to be restoring power as quickly as possible, and we’re doing everything we can to ensure our customers and our crews stay safe during this process.”

According to the outage center, some neighborhoods in East Lansing and Eaton County have estimated times of restoration of Feb. 27 and Feb. 28.

UPDATE | Consumers Energy is reporting over 2,245 outages with 168,849 customers affected as of 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Consumers Energy sent out a news release at 9:30 p.m. urging customers to be "cautious and patient" as reports of downed wires and outages increase.

"While some crews may have begun restoration work already, the energy provider has more than 300 crews mobilized and ready to begin an all-hands-on-deck restoration process once it is safe for all crews to be deployed," the release said. "More than 160,000 customers are currently impacted."

City of Jackson PIO Aaron Dimick said the city urges residents to stay indoors and not travel.

"Road conditions plus downed wires and trees are making driving conditions very dangerous and difficult for emergency crews to reach you if there’s a problem," Dimick said. "Public Works crews are also monitoring blocked streets but cannot take action until conditions improve."

ORIGINAL STORY | Consumers Energy, a public utility company that covers the majority of Michigan, is reporting over 110,000 customers without power as an ice storm hits the area.

A majority of the outages are in south central Michigan, including Jackson and Hillsdale counties.

In total, there have been a reported 1,602 outages with 110,058 people affected as of 8 p.m. Wednesday.

FOX 47 News also talked to Consumers Energy ahead of the ice storm to find out how Michiganders can prepare for a potential power outage.

This is a developing story and will be updated as power outages are resolved or more outages are reported. You can follow along on the Consumers Energy outage center to report an outage or to see all of the outages.

Want to see more local news? Visit the FOX47News Website.

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