Utilities Work To Respond To Wind Storm Outages
December 13, 2021
By Jon King / firstname.lastname@example.org
As at least 30 tornadoes were reported this weekend in the South and lower Midwest, Michigan also faced a windstorm that cut power to nearly 200,000 customers statewide.
As of 8:30 this morning, DTE Energy said it had restored power to approximately 137,000 of the 160,000 customers impacted by the storm. The DTE Outage Map indicates there are still some scattered areas in Livingston County without power, with restoration expected by 10pm Monday.
Consumers Energy, meanwhile, indicated in its outage map, that they had restored power to most of their customers, with about 850 outages scattered throughout their service area, approximately 250 of which are in Tyrone Township. That restoration estimate is for 4:15pm Monday. Another 45 are in southwest Shiawassee County, with restoration expected at 6:45pm.
Utility companies said while they cannot control the weather, it is important to work to be as resilient and reliable as possible in the face of increased severe weather events in recent years.
Katie Carey, director of external relations for Consumers Energy, said the hardest hit areas from this weekend's winds, some of more than 55 miles an hour, include Midland, Flint, Carson City, Grand Rapids, Greenville, Alma and Ionia.
"I'm sure most of your listeners will remember the windstorm and the thunderstorms that we had in our state back in August," Carey recounted. "We're seeing extreme weather not just in Michigan, but you saw tornadoes rip through Tennessee and Kentucky."
Eighty people or more may have been killed by the tornadoes in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas.
Carey pointed out winds knocked down trees and limbs, broke poles and damaged more than 2,200 power lines that they know of. She added Consumers Energy will continue to work to make their poles and lines durable, and they're starting to work on putting lines underground where it makes sense.
She emphasized when storms happen, there are some tips for staying safe.
"If you come across a downed power line, stay 25 feet away," Carey cautioned. "Assume that power line is live and active and stay 25 feet away. Call 911 and report that; also call Consumers Energy and report that downed line, so we can take care of it."
She recommended being prepared whenever there are reports of possible storms, by making sure electronic devices are charged, and having food, water and other safety resources on hand.
Lily Bohlke with Public News Service also contributed to this report.
Top Photo - Consumers Energy
Bottom Photo - DTE Energy