MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) (8/29/2018) - Power crews were left with a mess to clean up after a powerful line of thunderstorms swept through the central Lower Peninsula on Tuesday evening.
More than 110,000 Consumers Energy customers were without power around midnight, including 81 percent of customers in Arenac County. The statewide total was down to 93,000 for Consumers Energy around noon.
The area between Tawas Bay, Houghton Lake, Clare and Midland was especially hard hit. Besides Arenac County, Gladwin, Ogemaw and Roscommon counties also had around 40 percent of customers without power.
The Thumb Electric Cooperative reported 182 outages, including 20 percent of the Bad Axe area. DTE Energy also reported spotty outages affecting about 3,000 customers in the Thumb.
Consumers Energy had more than 150 crews working around the clock to repair about 1,725 incidents causing power outages. More than 1,500 Consumers employees were activated Tuesday night to work on power restoration.
“As we restored power earlier Tuesday, we were anticipating this storm and making sure workers and equipment were in place to respond,” said Tim Sparks, Consumers Energy vice president of electric grid integration. “We will work safely around the clock until every customer is restored.”
Consumers called in crews from two other states to with power restoration efforts.
Utility crews already were working to restore power to 100,000 who lost power after Sunday night's storms. In total, 215,000 Consumers customers have lost power since Sunday evening's storms.
Some customers will get power back today, but some may have to wait until late Friday.
"It's really based on how we can bring back the most customers with the fewest amount of person hours to do that," said Consumers spokesman Kyle McCree. "So if there's one outage with 4,000 customers, that needs one fix and an outage with four customers needs one fix, we're going to do the 4,000 first then go back to the smaller outage from there."
The company is urging customers without power to be patient.
"We are working on the issue," McCree said. "We do want to restore everyone as soon as possible. Obviously, if you see a downed line, stay 25 feet away, call 911, certainly be safe if you're running a generator. You want to make sure you have proper ventilation outside of the home."
See "Related Links" on the right side of this story for maps showing estimates on when power will be restored around the region.
Tuesday's storms should be the last for a few days, giving utility crews nice weather to work. Temperatures will be in the 70s for the rest of this week with no significant rain in the forecast.
Temperatures warm back into the mid-80s with a lot of clouds and some chances of rain over Labor Day weekend.