Residents deal with the heat after power outages

Kent County

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Thousands of people in West Michigan are still without power as of Saturday night.

The outages came after severe storms hit the area, causing downed power lines and trees.

“It’s been a busy day for some of our crews and a stressful day for some of our customers,” said Garrick Rochow with Consumers Energy.

Rochow says at the height of the outages, 175,000 customers were without power. He says because of the 90-degree weather, the energy company had concerns about customers remaining safe and cool.

>>Inside woodtv.com: Consumers’ Energy power outage map

“With these hot temperatures, it’s important for the elderly, the vulnerable, anybody really, to stay hydrated,” Rochow said.

To help, they passed out ice and water in Jenison neighborhoods.

In East Grand Rapids, families were also struggling to keep cool in the hot heat.

“Today (Saturday) just seemed to be getting warmer and warmer,” said homeowner Bob Woolford.

Woolford says power went out at his home around 2 a.m., killing their lights, refrigerator and air conditioning. To find relief, they spent much of the day in restaurants and cooler rooms in their home.

“The basement stays pretty cool, so that’s helpful. It stays cool and wet and dark,” Woolford said.

Consumers Energy says as of 9 p.m. Saturday, about 50,000 customers had their power restored. They say their crews will be working through the night to continue restoring power to remaining customers. They’re also calling in support from different states as far as Kentucky.

The bulk of customers power will be back on Sunday. There will be a few households with power restored on Monday and Tuesday, Consumers Energy said.

In the meantime, Consumers Energy will continue relief efforts by handing out ice and water in Jenison Sunday afternoon.

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