Her house shook violently as wind gusts of 90 miles per hour tore through Jeanne Terwilliger’s Eagle Township property.
It ripped two 30 feet trees out of the ground and flung one, causing it to come crashing down on a pole barn.
It was a terrifying five minutes that seemed to take forever, as she sat in her home. It’s an unfortunate experience that many can relate to around Michigan as our crews continue to pick up the pieces days later while helping communities return to some semblance of normalcy. Thankfully this story had a happy ending with Terwilliger’s service being restored this evening; with many more are expected to follow tonight.
“That was the worst storm I have ever seen in my 49 years living here,” said Terwilliger, as she raked leaves by the bucket full. “It was way worse than any other storm that we have dealt with. Nobody could’ve expected this.”
She said her saving grace were crews who showed up at her home this afternoon. The crews fixed a transformer in the neighborhood and were courteous and professional, she said.
“That always helps during tough, emotional times like these,” Terwilliger said, pointing to the two downed trees. “That chestnut tree was my favorite, but the crew was nothing but understanding and communicated with me what was going on. That helps someone who lives alone like me. They really came through for me. I couldn’t be happier right now.”
Earlier in the day Consumers Energy officials thanked customers like Terwilliger, for their continued patience and support as restoration continued following the severe weather last week, including seven confirmed tornadoes.
A record number of Consumers Energy crews, including two in Terwilliger’s neighborhood, and contract crews from six states continue to work around the clock to restore power. At the storm’s peak there were nearly 200,000 customers without power.
At the time this story is posted, fewer than 13,000 customers remain without power.
Neighbors of Terwilliger also said the crews helped alleviate some of their concern by simply explaining to them what they are doing, and how they are doing everything they can safely get their power back on.
Mission accomplished for Terwilliger and her neighbors. And now it’s on to the next neighborhood.