OTSEGO, Mich. (WOOD) — Consumers Energy says 60 mile per hour wind gusts were reported from Wednesday’s storms.
One visual showing its power was a towering tree next to the American Legion Post 84 headquarters having one of its massive branches blown off, crashing onto the top of the building. Jason Ellinger, who lives right across, said he heard it all.
“It was a big crack. I mean shoot, look at the branch. You know it,” Ellinger explained. “I got home and everything was going crazy.”
Ellinger was one of around 90,000 Consumers Energy customers who lost their power from the storm. He said his came back on about eight hours.
As of 11:55 p.m. Thursday, about 13,867 Consumers customers statewide remained without power. Customers affected in West Michigan:
- Allegan County: 1,257
- Barry County: 1,937
- Kalamazoo County: 2,046
- Van Buren County: 1,345
While the storm packed quite a punch, Consumers Energy spokesman Josh Paciorek said they had 210 crews prepared.
“We had crews ready to go, so they’ve been able to start working last night, through the night and into the morning hours,” Paciorek said.
Paciorek also mentioned their $5.1 billion dollar, five-year plan investing in tree trimming and equipment continues to be a difference maker in storm response.
“In the face of climate change … we’re seeing more frequent severe storms,” Paciorek explained. “By hardening our grid, by improving … making the grid more resilient in the face of this severe weather, we’re able to both reduce the number of outages and reduce the length it takes us to restore outages.”
As of 6 p.m. Thursday, about two-thirds of affected Consumers customers had power restored, according to the company.