GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD TV8) – Consumers Energy crews continue to quickly and safely restore power after sweeping storms Monday knocked down trees, limbs, and power lines in 37 counties in the state’s Lower Peninsula. The energy provider has reconnected more than 60,000 customers and more than 350 crews are working in the field today with a goal of restoring more than half of the roughly 175,000 impacted customers. The company expects a largely dry and hazard-free weather forecast for the remainder of the week to aid restoration efforts.

“Our crews are working tirelessly to get power back to our customers as quickly as possible,” said Amanda Wagenschutz, one of Consumers Energy’s Officers in Charge for the storm event. “Safety is our top priority. Nothing is more important than protecting our customers, our co-workers and the communities we serve.” The energy provider is planning a community event today in Kalamazoo, which was one of the hardest hit areas. Customers are invited to stop by Schultz’s Treat Street in Kalamazoo for a free single scoop sugar cone, cake cone, or cup compliments of Consumers Energy. More information is available at Facebook.com/ConsumersEnergyMichigan.

“This event is a small gesture of appreciation for our customers and their patience as our team works to restore power as quickly and as safely as possible,” said Wagenschutz. Restoration times can vary depending on the extent of the damage. Customers can report an outage and check the status of outage by visiting www.ConsumersEnergy.com/OutageCenter. They can also sign up to get The storm caused thousands of power lines to come down.

The public should stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines and any object they are in contact with, keep children and pets away, and report the issue by calling 9-1-1 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050. 2 outage alerts and restoration times sent to a phone, email or text message, Text ‘REG’ to 232273 or visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/alerts. The storm caused more than 2,000 down wires throughout Consumers Energy’s service territory. Wagenschutz urged people to stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines, keep children and pets away, and report the issue by calling 9-1-1 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050. Consumers Energy also asks the public to keep a safe distance from crews.

Consumers Energy urges the public to keep important safety tips in mind:

• Be alert to 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.

 • Call 2-1-1 if you are looking for help connecting to 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. 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 6.8 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.