UPDATE 12:28 p.m. – More crews are being brought in to help deal with tens of thousands of power outages in Michigan following severe thunderstorms.
Consumers Energy says the storms Thursday night and Friday left more than 156,000 homes and businesses that it serves without power. The utility says that number is up from estimates earlier in the day and comes as about 2,000 power lines are down.
Officials hope to restore power to all those affected by the end of Sunday. The western side of the state was hit hard, including Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon counties. Scattered damage is reported elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says a 2 mile section of Burns Road in Midland County’s Jerome Township has been closed due to recent heavy rains and flooding
UPDATE 9:02 a.m. – Now that the storms that rampaged across Michigan have moved on the damage is being totaled. A Consumers Power spokesperson tells 6 News that 153,000 of its customers are without power today and some of them may not have power restored until late Sunday night.
The wind took down a lot of trees and power lines. If you should see a power line on the ground or hanging low do not touch it. Treat every power line as a live wire and keep at least 25 feet away. Call 911 immediately and report the downed line.
The National Safety Council offers these reminders for safe portable generator use:
• Always read and follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions before running generator
• Engines emit carbon monoxide. Never use a generator inside your home, garage, crawl space, or other enclosed areas. Fatal fumes can build up, that neither a fan nor open doors and windows can
provide enough fresh air.
• Only use your generator outdoors, away from open windows, vents, or doors.
• Use a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector in the area you’re running a generator.
• Gasoline and its vapors are extremely flammable. Allow the generator engine to cool at least 2 minutes before refueling and always use fresh gasoline. If you do not plan to use your generator in 30 days, don’t forget to stabilize the gas with fuel stabilizer.
• Maintain your generator according to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule for peak performance and safety.
• Never operate the generator near combustible materials.
• If you have to use extension cords, be sure they are of the grounded type and are rated for the application. Coiled cords can get extremely hot; always uncoil cords and lay them in flat open locations.
• Never plug your generator directly into your home outlet. If you are connecting a generator into your home electrical system, have a qualified electrician install a Power Transfer Switch.
• Generators produce powerful voltage – Never operate under wet conditions. Take precautions to protect your generator from exposure to rain and snow.
UPDATE 7:00 a.m. – Authorities say a 72-year-old man has died after a tree fell on a home in western Michigan while severe thunderstorms moved across the state.
Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke tells our media partners at WOOD-TV that the man died after the tree fell early Friday in Grand Haven, where winds around 90 mph were reported in the community along Lake Michigan. The Ottawa County sheriff’s department says a woman at the home escaped.
Hawke says the death is under investigation.
Tom Donahue, who lives nearby, tells WZZM-TV the storm was extremely loud as it moved through. He says “It sounded like a jet engine, a jet plane, was parked on my deck.”
The storms caused damage across Michigan, cutting out power to tens of thousands of customers as trees and power lines were knocked down.
LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Heavy storms are causing power outages in mid-Michigan.
On the outage map from Consumers Energy there are scattered power outages.
In Eaton County there’s more than 8500 customers without power right now.
There are more than 3500 out of power in Ingham County and more than 2800 in Jackson County right now.
As of right now Consumers Energy is still assessing the damage and hasn’t listed any restoration times yet.
This weather story is developing and changing rapidly.
We’ll update this story online and on 6 News when more information is available.