Best estimates are about 300,000 utility customers in southern Michigan lost service because of the Wednesday storms that swept across the state.  The remnants of Tropical Storm Cristobal will be remembered for some time.

Many people have commented on social media about how quickly things went from a normal kind of day to a fast-moving storm front knocking over trees and even trucks on a Michigan highway.  In the northern lower peninsula, high winds kicked up huge waves on some of the larger inland lakes, destroying docks and swamping boats.

Here in Calhoun County, it may take a few days before cleanup crews wrap up getting trees and limbs totally clear from roadways and parking lots.  And it may take that long for utility crews to finish their work as well.  Consumers Energy says even with its full response teams in action, some customers may be waiting for service to be restored until Saturday. At the height of the problem, Consumers reported close to 3,700 separate outage areas. All need to be addressed one by one. As of 4:30 this morning, Consumers reports more than half its customers who lost power have had service restored. But just under 100,000 customers were still without service. The utility is posting an apology on its website for a glitch in its automated notification system that was sending out messages to people about when to expect service to be restored.

“A Note on Restoration Times:

An issue was identified early Thursday that caused restoration times to be underestimated, resulting in inaccurate and more frequent notices for some outages. This issue was resolved later that day. Our sincere apologies to those who experienced multiple communications yesterday – we understand you make important decisions based on the information we provide and we’re determined to deliver the best information possible during this major restoration event, and during future Michigan storms. To correct this problem, we have manually reset estimates for times that were set to expire soon to times that were realistic based on the work the crew has ahead of them. As of 4 p.m. on 6/11, our estimates are accurate based on the information we have. With any outage, there is occasionally damage to our grid that could not be seen when crews reviewed the initial damage which can result in changed restoration times.”

Both DTE and Indiana Michigan Power have also been dealing with a large number of areas where the power grid got knocked out by the Wednesday storms.

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