The windstorms that started Tuesday (March 7) in the Upper Peninsula and then stretch across the rest of the state on Wednesday (March 8) left two people dead and affected nearly one-third of the state’s nearly 10 million people.
The windstorm – where winds were recorded at more than 60 miles an hour in a number of locations in the state – left more than 1,100 of Consumers Energy’s poles toppled and some 4,000 wires of DTE Energy downed in their respective service areas.
That had a larger overall effect than the ice storm that struck just before Christmas in 2013, which left some 400 poles collapsed for CMS and affected close to 1 million people in the center region of the state. Some places did not get electricity restored for close to nine days after that storm.
Jerry Norcia, president and COO at DTE, said as many 800,000 people in their service area lost power. The utility has more than 3,500 employees, including 1,500 linemen and some 750 linemen from other states, working on restoring service. He said they expected to have 90 percent of their customers restored by Sunday night.
Consumers Energy President and CEO Patricia Poppe said some 320,000 customers had lost power and the utility has succeeded in restoring service to nearly half of them. In its service area, Consumers has seen serious problems in Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent and Genesee counties. There are 2,200 people working on restoring power, she said.
Source : Lauren Gibbons, “Windstorm outages ‘largest combined statewide event in history,’ Snyder says”, MLive, March 9, 2017.