As Michigan’s summer storm season winds down, Consumers Energy crews, dispatchers and our many storm responders continue to improve the way we restore power to our customers.
That’s thanks, in large part, to an all-hands-on-deck company strategy that has crews ready to work as soon as a storm hits, new technology that helps us respond to outages faster and the human element – the passion, dedication and focus of our dispatchers, crews and other storm responders to restore power as soon as possible.
Mother Nature has thrown a lot at us this summer. High winds? Check. Intense lightening? Check. Humidity that makes working conditions difficult? Check.
The efforts of our crews, dispatchers and other storm responders are being noticed and appreciated by community leaders, customers and businesses.
“We have positioned ourselves to respond to storms in a more efficient, and, most importantly, safer manner for our crews and our customers,” said Scott McPhail, storm restoration manager. “As each storm season passes, we’ve learned and adapted our tactics to meet the expectations of our customers. In the recent storm that hit the week of Aug. 29, we applied our lessons learned and saw improved performance for our customers,” he said. “We take our role as a hometown energy provider seriously. So, while another storm is always on the horizon, we have a model in place to handle whatever comes our way to serve the people of Michigan.”
Residential and business customers, as well as community members around Michigan, are grateful for the diligent restoration work that a few vicious storms caused throughout the summer, including one that recently knocked out tens of thousands of customers the week of Aug. 29.
At Albion College, the devastating storm left about 1,500 students – 98 percent of them live on campus – without power.
Crews showed up at the scene to survey the damage and got the campus up and running within about 36 hours.
“Consumers Energy provided unbelievable service in our time of need,” said Albion Interim President Joe Calvaruso. “After some initial storm triage and assessment of the damage that took place, Albion became the focus of restoration efforts. Despite long estimates of outage times, we were up sooner than expected and fully functional, and most importantly our students were safe and secure and have Consumers Energy to thank for their extraordinary efforts.”
Ed Hude, of Mason, was left without power for about two days from that same storm.
“It was manageable, and it could’ve taken a lot longer to have power restored, that was a pretty nasty storm,” Hude said. “Consumers Energy came through for us. They always do.”
He said seeing a handful of utility vehicles in the Mason community reassured him that help was here, and his power would be back on soon.
“The crews and dispatch operators are the best,” Hude said. “They work diligently and long hours to get our power up and running. I would like to thank them and their families who endured having a loved one gone for hours or even days in dangerous situations from storm damage. They are all heroes in my book.”
Jackson County was also left devastated in the Aug. 29 storm’s wake, leaving thousands without power. Mike Overton, Jackson County administrator, said Consumers Energy and their storm responders went above and beyond to take care of those without power.
“Consumers Energy always rises to the challenge whenever Michigan is in need,” said Overton. “This storm was no different and it speaks volumes about how well-prepared they are to handle what Mother Nature throws their way.”
Overton said he was impressed that volunteers showed up at Keeley Park in Jackson to hand out about 400 free bags of ice and 5,500 water bottles to those without power.
“They were so quick to show up in the company’s hometown and help those who were going through some really difficult times,” said Overton. “Unfortunately, dangerous storms will always be around, but so will Consumers Energy and their professional and thoughtful employees, which should put our minds at ease.”