JACKSON, Mich., Jan. 12, 2024 – On the heels of Michigan’s first major storm of the winter, over 400 Consumers Energy and contractor crews from as far away as Colorado, New York and Alabama are preparing for another strong storm system expected to sweep across the state this weekend.
“We expect this storm to deliver heavy snow and winds over the next couple of days, and Consumers Energy is ready,” said Chris Laird, Consumers Energy’s vice president for electric operations. “Even as our lineworkers finished restoring power from this week’s first storm, we were already looking ahead and preparing to ensure we keep the lights and heat on for the people who count on us.”
The next system is expected to bring widespread hazardous snow and strong winds across the Lower Peninsula, from noon Friday through the end of the day Saturday. The 400 crews include help from nine states and contractors who have stayed on since the last storm to prepare for the weekend.
Trucks and essential materials are prepared and staged to support restoration efforts in key areas, including mobile storm units that already are parked near Grand Rapids and Tawas to bring supplies closer to restoration work.
Laird encouraged Michiganders to continue preparing for this storm. Some tips for severe weather include:
· Charge all electronic devices. It’s advised to have an emergency battery or charging station available for use during an outage.
· Have an emergency kit that includes flashlights and extra batteries, water, canned food and blankets. Be prepared with enough medication, baby supplies and pet food if applicable. A battery-operated radio is also a good idea.
· Unplug sensitive electronics like TVs, computers and printers. Turn power strips off.
Consumers Energy urges the public to keep important safety tips in mind:
· Stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines, and to report unguarded downed lines by calling 9-1-1 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050.
· 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. Read more guidance on safe generator use here.
· 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 that holds the electric service wires to a 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 is Michigan’s largest energy provider, providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
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