Consumers Energy: Repeat storms put this week in top 20 events for outages


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Restoration efforts took days after a one-two punch of storms caused by the remnants of Cristobal Tuesday and Wednesday knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses in West Michigan.

“It’s going to actually end up being one of our top 20 storms in our 130-year history, the way the numbers are adding up — over 270,000 people have been affected since Tuesday night,” Consumers spokesman Roger Morgenstern said Friday.

He said a workforce of about 1,600 was aiming get most customers back online Friday, but Morgenstern qualified that “in the harder-hit areas, including Branch and Calhoun (counties), it will be late Saturday before we can get everyone restored.”

He said there were 300 crews in the field statewide, 100 of which were in Calhoun County alone, and they were working around the clock.

“We will not stop until we get everybody restored,” Morgenstern promised in a video call with News 8.

Around 10 p.m. Friday, the Consumer Energy’s interactive outage map showed about 48,000 customers without service statewide. Here are the West Michigan county-by-county outage numbers:

  • Allegan County: 466
  • Barry County: 518
  • Branch County: 4,912
  • Calhoun County: 17,570
  • Kent County: 4,943
  • Montcalm County: 298
  • Muskegon County: 178
  • Newaygo County: 25
  • Ottawa County: 1,033
  • St. Joseph County: 540

Morgenstern said restoration was taking a long time because there were more than 5,000 power lines downed in the storm and tens of thousands of separate interruptions to the grid. While many areas were getting cleaned up, “we still have a heck of mess down in Calhoun and Branch counties,” he noted.

There was another, smaller lines of storms Thursday evening unrelated to Cristobal. Consumers said that caused more outages, but did not appear to be significantly affecting restoration times.

zeeland weather
Storm clouds move in over Zeeland on June 11, 2020. (Brooke Thorburn/ReportIt)

Residents are urged to stay at least 25 feet away from a downed wire and report it by calling 911 and Consumers at 800.477.5050.

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