COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - Less than half of the more than 2,500 Consumers Energy customers in Branch County who lost power in Sunday’s wind storms have had their electricity restored and the utility says while most customers will be back on line in the next few days, it may take until Saturday to return service to everyone. At the worst of it, 284,000 Consumers customers state-wide were affected by outages and at last word, that was down to 118,000.
The utility says it has asked other utilities in the Midwest to send crews to help restore power, but almost every other utility is also dealing with storm damage. Consumer’s spokesman Roger Morgenstern says high winds yesterday slowed progress and it’s just going to take time to effect repairs. He says they focus on the repairs that can return power to the most people, and critical facilities like hospitals and police stations first.
As it turns out they now say there actually were two twisters in Michigan, in eastern Muskegon and Mecosta Counties. Meteorologist Brandon Hoving says fortunately they were EF-zeros, the lowest on the Fujuta scale. He says it was straight line 75 MPH winds that were every bit as powerful as that tornado in Muskegon that hit Mattawan and ripped part of the roof off the high school gym. They are also calling that an EF-Zero. Mattawan Schools will be closed again today because there is no power.