Consumers Energy ready to help people impacted by Florence

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Consumers Energy crews are on standby for Hurricane Florence’s possible landfall.

When recent storms knocked out power in West Michigan, out-of-state workers helped residents get their electricity back. Now, the company is ready to return the favor.

There is a whole network in place for big weather. Some trucks are already down south; others are waiting in the wings.

“We’re ready, we’re putting crew list together,” said Roger Morgenstern with Consumers Energy.

He said the U.S. has a mutual assistance network in place for power restoration. That large network is made up of smaller regional groups. Michigan is part of the Great Lakes Mutual Assistance group.

“We think it’s very important if we can to help our fellow men and women that are going to be working very hard in the coming days and weeks,” said Morgenstern.

Because Michigan is geographically further away, its workers are in the second wave to be called in.

Crews in the Southeast Energy Exchange group are already in place to down it the Carolinas and Virginia.

“The good thing, if there can be a good thing with hurricanes (is that) they can get a pretty good idea on the expected scope and magnitude before it hits,” he added.

Experts are estimating that 2 to 2.5 million people will be left without power by the weekend.

“We are on standby, but we are ready to serve if we are called upon,” he said.

Consumers will know by early next week if they will need to head south. Costs for Michigan workers’ travel and work is covered by the energy company in the are being served, and there is no cost to Michigan’s customers.

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