2010-10-28 / Front Page

Friday Update: Thousands get power back, thousands still without

Richard Coghill fills a jug with water from the Artesian well at the St. Helen Veterans Memorial Thursday afternoon. Pictured in the background is Don Miller of St. Helen. Residents without power used the site as a place to replenish their water supply. (Photo by Thomas Reznich)
Richard Coghill fills a jug with water from the Artesian well at the St. Helen Veterans Memorial Thursday afternoon. Pictured in the background is Don Miller of St. Helen. Residents without power used the site as a place to replenish their water supply. (Photo by Thomas Reznich) Roscommon District Public Library Librarian Lisa Sutton straightens the library sign Thursday morning after it was partially blown over during high winds Wednesday. She said lights flickered and that computers were turned off as a precaution.
Roscommon District Public Library Librarian Lisa Sutton straightens the library sign Thursday morning after it was partially blown over during high winds Wednesday. She said lights flickered and that computers were turned off as a precaution. Consumers Energy reports Friday that 4,400 customers are still without power in Roscommon County. That number is about half of the number without power on Thursday afternoon. Statewide, approximately 30,000 Consumers Enegery electric customers are without service.

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A 4 p.m. update from Consumers Energy states that 8,350 Roscommon County residents are still without power. That number has decreased throughout the day, down from 13,000 who were without power earlier today.
 

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Roscommon County sustained enough wind damage Wednesday to knock out power to thousands of Consumers Energy customers, according to a company spokesperson.

Terry DeDeos of Consumers told the Resorter as of 10 a.m. Thursday there were 13,000 customers without power,  3,349 in Prudenville, 3,556 at Houghton Lake and 1,854 in St. Helen, which represents 42% of the customer base in St. Helen. In the Village of Roscommon as of 4 p.m. Wednesday, just 6,700 customers were without power, but by 9:30 p.m. 11,000 were. By Thursday morning at 4 a.m., the number jumped to 11,600, DeDeos said, but by 10 a.m. Thursday enough power was restored so that 5,840 were in the dark. There were 410 Merritt (Missaukee County) customers without power as of Thursday morning.

“It’s a see-saw battle,” DeDeos said, adding as crews worked to restore power, the winds kept coming.

Crews were called in from southern Michigan to assist workers in northern Michigan, DeDeos said. Crews also came in from Indiana and Ohio to work in Michigan.

DeDeos estimated power would be restored to a majority of customers by Friday night. The hardest hit areas, the ones where there are broken poles and more line clearing required, will likely be restored by Saturday. Statewide, he said, 275,000 customers were affeced by the damage caused by high winds.

Roscommon County Emergency Operations Center Director Ken Forst told the Resorter the EOC is working in conjunction with the Red Cross to assist residents in need. Calls to 911 are referred to the center – available at 275-3145 – when a resident is oxygen-dependent, for example, Forst said. He had received only two requests Thursday morning from residents needing oxygen.

Forst said the Red Cross has a list of area motels with power where people may stay if necessary. He praised area fire, EMS and police departments, as well as the Roscommon County Road Commission, which were on the roads Wednesday night, trying to take care of problems.

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