MID-MICHIGAN – Freezing rain has coated many parts of our area, causing power outages for thousands of Consumers Energy customers.
The added weight of so much ice caused over 2,400 power lines to snap since Wednesday, creating potentially dangerous situations for those who come into contact with them.
With more icy conditions and wind expected beginning Friday, Consumers is sharing safety tips with customers.
The company urges everyone to stay at least 25 feet away from downed lines and to reported them by calling 911 or the Consumers outage hotline at 800-477-5050.
“Our number one focus is to keep the public and our crews safe as we work around the clock and call upon mutual assistance crews to assist us in our restoration efforts. We know how frustrating it is to not have electric service, and we won’t stop until all of our neighbors have power,” said Guy Packard, vice president of electric operations for Consumers Energy.
Here are other important safety tips the company has for the public:
- Call 2-1-1 if you are looking for help connecting to temporary shelter or other resources that offer assistance in your community. 2-1-1 is a free statewide service.
- Never use a generator in an attached garage, basement, enclosed patio or near any air intakes. Doing so could cause a generator to produce hazardous levels of carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and deadly gas.
- Be alert to utility 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.
- Consumers Energy will trim or remove trees interfering with electric restoration activities. Once safe to do so, clean-up of debris from tree trimming or removal during a storm emergency is the responsibility of individual property owners.
- 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 customers can sign up to get outage alerts and restoration times sent to a phone, email or text message, Text ‘REG' to 232273 or go here.
The majority of customers affected by this week’s outages are expected to have power restored by Sunday evening.
You can find more outage information here.