2013-12-29 / Front Page

Area residents still without power after ice storm

Approx. 750 power outages still reported in the area
BY MANDILEE LOOMIS HERALD STAFF


STORM DAMAGE – During the Dec. 21-22, 2013 ice storm, Eda Modrak and her husband Fred, on Peet Road, just east of Bueche Road, overheard a loud noise and looked outside the window of their home to see a large limb from a mature tree on top of their camper. Eda commented that they were lucky the fallen branch had not taken down their power lines. (TCC Photos by Jeanne Marcello) STORM DAMAGE – During the Dec. 21-22, 2013 ice storm, Eda Modrak and her husband Fred, on Peet Road, just east of Bueche Road, overheard a loud noise and looked outside the window of their home to see a large limb from a mature tree on top of their camper. Eda commented that they were lucky the fallen branch had not taken down their power lines. (TCC Photos by Jeanne Marcello) One of the worst ice storms in years on Sunday, Dec. 22 resulted in many area residents losing power – an especially hard hit considering it struck during the week of Christmas.

More than 2,900 field and office employees from Consumers Energy, Michiganbased contractors and workers from 11 states and Washington, D.C. were still working to help restore power to customers throughout the state.

About 750 power outages remained in the areas of Montrose, Chesaning, New Lothrop, and St. Charles, according to Brian Wheeler, spokesperson for Consumers Energy. He stated Thursday afternoon St. Charles had zero outages; Chesaning had six power outages; Montrose had 593 reported outages; and New Lothrop held 151 customers without power.


THE POWER OF ICE – The Dec. 21-22, 2013 ice storm coated everything with ice. Many trees suffered broken limbs throughout mid Michigan. Power outages were reported for days after, many due to frozen tree limbs that fell onto power lines. This downed tree limb was located on M-57 in Montrose. THE POWER OF ICE – The Dec. 21-22, 2013 ice storm coated everything with ice. Many trees suffered broken limbs throughout mid Michigan. Power outages were reported for days after, many due to frozen tree limbs that fell onto power lines. This downed tree limb was located on M-57 in Montrose. These numbers are continuing to decrease as workers restore power throughout the areas. Out of state workers were scheduled to join the more than 560 field workers already on the job across Genesee County.

The storm caused more than 377,000 outages total, or more than 20 percent of its 1.8 million electric customers. At its height the number of customers in Genesee County without power was 65,000; in Shiawassee County 21,000; and Saginaw County 5,100. It is Consumer’s Energy’s largest Christmas-week storm in its 126-year history and its largest ice storm in more than 10 years.

The latest estimations for full restoration for these three counties was the end of the day on Saturday, Dec. 21. Wheeler advised residents to check Consumers Energy outage map on at www.consumersenergy.com/outagemap for continual updates. These maps are continually being updated as workers restore service. Customers can also zoom in on their specific area and see when power is expected to be restored.

Consumers Energy is “monitoring upcoming warmer (weekend) temperatures (Dec 27 and 28) that could cause additional damage to the electric system.”

“Temperatures as high as the low 40s late Friday and into Saturday in some parts of the state will melt ice now coating tree branches, causing them to snap into power lines, and perhaps cause additional customer outages, said Mary Palkovich, Consumers Energy vice president of energy delivery.

“We expect to have electricity to the majority of our customers affected by last weekend’s historic ice storm restored by the end of the day Saturday,” Palkovich said. “We are closely watching weather forecasts for warming temperatures late Friday and into Saturday. This is an issue we often see with ice storms. It’s not unusual, but it is a challenge for our crews and our customers.”

Customers who lose electricity for an extended period of time can dial 2-1-1 to receive emergency shelter information or to request assistance. Before going to a shelter, residents are asked to contact their local emergency management office to confirm the availability of services. A link to warming shelters currently operated by the American Red Cross is available at http://app.redcross.org/nss-app/ or by clicking on the “warming shelters” link within the top screen banner at www.ConsumersEnergy.com.

“We continue our focus on safely restoring all customers affected by this storm,” said Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy’s vice president of customer operations and quality. “We have accomplished a great deal but we know the job is not done yet. We thank our customers for their patience.”

Return to top

Copyright © 2009-2018 Tri-County Citizen, All Rights Reserved