High winds cause damage, power outages around county

·3 min read
The Cheboygan City Fire Department responded to nine calls to service during the storm that tore through the state Thursday. These calls included trees coming down and taking the power lines with them. These lines down created partial road closures, including this one on West State Street, until the power companies could attend to them.
The Cheboygan City Fire Department responded to nine calls to service during the storm that tore through the state Thursday. These calls included trees coming down and taking the power lines with them. These lines down created partial road closures, including this one on West State Street, until the power companies could attend to them.

Cheboygan County — as well as a large portion of the rest of the state — saw high winds that caused trees to come down on power lines and vehicles, causing widespread power outages.

Every fire department throughout Cheboygan County was called out multiple times during the storm, which started early Thursday morning, for a plethora of different calls including road hazards due to trees coming down and several structure fires.

“My department was sent on nine different calls,” said Cheboygan Fire Chief Don Dailey. “They were mostly for trees that had come down on power lines, causing problems.”

As of Friday morning, Presque Isle Electric and Gas Co-Op still had around 8,800 people who were without power in their service district. Around 22,265 services lost power on PIE&G’s distribution system, and 13,500 services were able to be restored.

The high winds pushed over large trees all around the county, many of which took down power lines, like this tree between Indian River and Topinabee, near I-75 exit 313, which caused widespread power outages.
The high winds pushed over large trees all around the county, many of which took down power lines, like this tree between Indian River and Topinabee, near I-75 exit 313, which caused widespread power outages.

According to a press release from PIE&G, the company responded to an unusually large number of 911 emergency calls for downed power lines, and tree and line damage is extensive throughout its nine-county service area. The largest number of outages are reported in Cheboygan, Montmorency and Oscoda counties.

There were around 10 power poles that were snapped off due to the high winds and need to be replaced by the company. It is expected the repairs and tree removals will take several more days to complete.

Anyone who has a power outage, who has PIE&G, is encouraged to call and report the outage at (800) 423-6634. Those who are reporting downed power lines are also asked to stay 25 feet or more from the downed line, to be as safe as possible.

Consumers Energy had more than 181,000 customers across the state who lost power due to the high winds, which were clocked at more than 60 miles per hour in some locations.

More: Thousands experience outages in Northern Michigan after wind event

More: High winds take out Michigan power lines, just days after crews finished restoring them

According to Consumers Energy's website — www.consumersenergy.com/outagemap — there were still around 1,934 people without power as of 11:15 a.m. Friday morning.

Due to the high winds and power outages throughout Cheboygan County, the Cheboygan County Sheriff's Department and Cheboygan County Office of Emergency Management opened several different shelters around the county. These shelters were open to anyone who did not have electricity to come and stay warm and safe until their electricity was restored.

Shelters were opened at Alverno Fire Station's Station One on Orchard Beach Road, the Cheboygan Knights of Columbus building, the Tuscarora Township Fire Department on South Straits Highway in Indian River, the Wolverine Senior Center on Wolverine Road, and the Church of Straits on North Huron Avenue in Mackinaw City.

Power companies worked in conjunction with tree removal companies to get downed power lines and trees removed from roadways, including this large tree on Floyd Street in Indian River, near the Tuscarora Township Police Department.
Power companies worked in conjunction with tree removal companies to get downed power lines and trees removed from roadways, including this large tree on Floyd Street in Indian River, near the Tuscarora Township Police Department.

Those who were utilizing the shelters were asked to bring their own food and water, sleeping essentials and clothes, medications and other needs for everyone in the family.

According to a Friday press release from the Cheboygan County Office of Emergency Management, with many of the residents coming back online and getting their electricity back, the shelters around the county were now closed.

If there are any residents throughout the county who are still in need of assistance until all the issues from the storm have been resolved, they are asked to call 911. The office of emergency management will continue to be available to all county residents who are still in need.

The Cheboygan County Office of Emergency Management thanked those entities that allowed utilization of their buildings as shelters for the public, and also thanked the volunteers that dedicated themselves to serving those in need.

Contact Features Writer Kortny Hahn at khahn1@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter at @khahnCDT.

This article originally appeared on Cheboygan Daily Tribune: High winds cause damage, power outages around county

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting