By: Tom Lambert

With another windstorm bearing down on Michigan later today, we are teaming up with Meijer to ensure as soon as the winds die down, our crews can go out.

Thousands across our company and even out of state lineworkers are gearing up for a storm that could have gusts of up to 70 miles per hour starting Wednesday night and continuing throughout the day Thursday. This comes on the heels of last week’s storm – with 55 mph winds –- that took down over 2,500 power lines and impacted almost 170,000 customers across the lower peninsula.

Under threatening, overcast skies, Meijer parking lots in Cadillac and Coldwater – regions expected to get hardest by the winds – are filling up with Consumers Energy and contractor vehicles in preparation for the storm. Between the two venues about 200 crews are on standby and ready to get to work.

“We contacted Meijer store directors in Coldwater and Cadillac on Tuesday to see if we could use their parking lots to help us prepare for the forecasted storm,” said Rob Redmond, Senior Lead of Supply Chain for Consumers Energy. “They were gracious in allowing us to set up shop in those two parking lots. And if the path of the storm changes we will adjust accordingly.”

Meijer also allowed Consumers Energy to use their parking lots in Greenville and Midland during last week’s storm and in the past has helped us source water, ice and other supplies to help the community during extended outages.

“The arrangement has worked out great,” said Redmond. “It’s convenient for the crews to get something to eat, fill up their vehicles with diesel fuel. We are making the best out of a difficult situation.”