With widespread outages, some Consumers customers may not have power for days

Weather News

ROCKFORD, Mich. (WOOD) — Power outages continued throughout West Michigan Wednesday night after a line of strong storms swept through the previous night, bringing down power lines.

A lot of people thought their lights would be back on by Wednesday evening, but Consumers Energy says some customers will be without power until Saturday or even Sunday.

“It’s frustrating,” said David Pusczak who lives in Rockford. 

His power went out around 11 p.m. Tuesday. He was originally told it would be back on at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, but when 6:15 p.m. rolled around, Consumers’ interactive outage map said not to expect it back until Saturday.

“It’s just that’s quite a huge difference and you just wonder when did the powers that be at Consumers know that,” Pusczak said.

Asked what causes restoration estimate changes like that, Consumers spokesman Brian Wheeler said it comes down to assessing the damage.

“What typically happens at the start of the storm like this, a lot of the times are generated automatically and then as we begin to assess the damage and make our plans for the restoration work, that’s when you see some of the changes,” Wheeler said.

Consumers said more than 350,000 homes and businesses lost power over the past week, making it one of the 10 largest storms in the company’s history. The utility company said its crews have restored 110,000 customers over the past 24 hours and expects to restore power to another 100,000 customers in the next 24 hours.

Crews are working around the clock. The utility expects more teams from seven different states to arrive and get to work Thursday. It hopes to restore service to most by the end of the day Friday.

“I’m optimistic that Saturday is an overage and maybe it will be on tomorrow,” Pusczak said.

But since that conversation with News 8, his restoration estimate was pushed back even further.

Consumers Energy is giving out ice cream bars and other gifts to customers at the Fremont Farmers’ Market on E. Dayton Street from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the Frosty Boy of Cascade on Cascade Road SE from 2:30 p.m. to 4:20 p.m. and at the Dairy Dayz on Blue Star Highway from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. “as (the company’s) way of thanking customers for their patience and cooperation as our crews work as quickly as possible” to restore power to everyone.

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