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Over 100,000 lost power in West Michigan; outages could last until Monday

The number of customers affected by power outages more than doubled from 7 to 9 a.m. Thursday.

Consumers Energy crews are working around the clock to keep up as weather related outages continue to affect West Michigan customers. 

More outages are possible overnight with increasing winds, up to 50 miles per hour, in West Michigan, Consumer Energy says. 

As of 4:00 p.m. Thursday, more than 138,000 customers were affected and more than 1,600 active outage were reported. The majority of customers without power should be restored by late Sunday,  but in the hardest hit areas that could extend into Monday, according to Consumers Energy. 

Check the outage map here. 

"Freezing precipitation is the toughest thing to handle," Consumer's Energy Senior Public Information Director Roger Morgenstern said.

The number of affected customers continued to increase Thursday morning, which Consumers Energy said is likely due to the continued ice build up on power lines.

"A half inch of ice can weigh as much as 500 pounds on a span of wire," Morgenstern said.

Over 2,400 downed electric lines have been reported since Wednesday

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Consumers Energy employees are pulling 16-hour shifts through the end of the week and have called in reinforcement crews from Kentucky to assist with restorations. 

“Ice storms pose unique challenges for restoring power and we greatly appreciate our customers’ patience,” said Guy Packard, Consumers Energy vice president of electric operations. “We have restored more than 40,000 customers, and as we continue our No. 1 focus of keeping the public and our crews safe, we won’t stop until all of our neighbors have power.”

Please remember to stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines, and call 9-1-1 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050 to report them. 

Consumers Energy customers can sign up to get outage alerts and restoration times sent to a phone, email or text message, Text ‘REG' to 232273 or visit ConsumersEnergy.com/alerts.

The City of Grand Rapids has opened its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to manage its response to the recent ice storm. 

The EOC has been open since 11 a.m. today and is scheduled to stay open 24 hours a day at least through Sunday. The EOC is a centralized place where the City’s emergency response staff can coordinate efforts among City departments and with regional partners, including Kent County, Consumers Energy and American Red Cross, and monitor information in real-time. 

In addition to power outages and downed trees, the City’s 311 Customer Service and 911 Dispatch have received more than 300 calls about downed wires and more than 150 about branches blocking streets or sidewalks since Wednesday morning.

You can read more here

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