GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The winter blast that hit West Michigan early Thursday left more than 6,000 homes and businesses without electrical service.
Winds were clocked as high as 59 miles per hour in Muskegon, and 44 miles per hour in Grand Rapids.
But Consumers Energy told FOX 17 that number had been reduced to about 4,400 customers impacted by outages, as of early Thursday evening, and it was down even further to 3,500 by 7:25 p.m.
However, the lights won’t be back on until 11 p.m. for some utility customers in Byron and Jamestown townships in Ottawa County, and Grandville in Kent County. In Ottawa County, Consumers Energy projected the 92 customers east of Nunica still impacted at 7:11 p.m. would not get their power back until 10 a.m. Friday.
Hundreds of outages had been reported earlier Thursday in Ottawa, Allegan, Muskegon, Montcalm and Newaygo counties, but the numbers had been trimmed to a handful of widely-scattered outages in most of those counties by 7:30 p.m.
Consumers spokesman Roger Morgenstern said brisk winds brought down trees, tree limbs and power lines. A tree fell on top of a Walker Public Safety cruiser Thursday afternoon, but no one was hurt.
Thursday night, the Consumers Energy outage map showed 1,422 affected customers in that general area, with the power having been knocked out around 6:42 p.m.
In the neighborhoods along Riverside Park in Grand Rapids – between the Plainfield and Monroe Avenue corridors – people had been dealing with outages since Thursday morning. The number had whittled to a few hundred by Thursday night.
Morgenstern said additional repair crews were called into West Michigan from outstate to speed up the power restorations. He also reminded people to avoid coming anywhere near downed lines; stay at least 25 feet away. And call Consumers Energy to report downed lines: 1-800-477-5050.