CADILLAC — Monday afternoon winds and rain entered the Cadillac area and so too did reports of downed trees and power outages.
Consumers Energy spokesperson Roger Morgenstern said it likely would get worse before it got better as the number of customers without power continued to increase. As of nearly 3 p.m., Consumers Power was showing 273 outages with 13,209 customers affected across the state. A mere two hours later Consumers Energy reported 476 outages with 21,440 customers affected.
Those numbers included roughly 1,000 customers in Wexford County, 700 in Lake County, 500 in Osceola County, and a couple hundred in Missaukee County.
Morganstern said high winds, especially along and near the Lake Michigan shoreline, were already exceeding 50 mph Monday afternoon. The National Weather Service of Gaylord reported a gust of 40mph at the Wexford County Airport at 4 p.m. Monday.
"High winds and thunderstorms are expected across Lower Michigan through Monday evening and into early Tuesday, likely causing additional outages," he said. "Our crews are ready to respond quickly and safely to restore power."
Morganstern said Consumers Energy was looking at Monday's storm to be a "statewide event" with the potential of some customers not having power restored until Tuesday.
The Cadillac Area YMCA was opening its doors during regular business hours to anyone experiencing a power outage. This included using the lobby to charge devices or for those who wanted to take a shower. The YMCA is open from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. during the workweek.
At 5 p.m. Great Lakes Energy also was reporting outages including 1,036 in Lake County and 275 customers in Osceola County. At 3 p.m. 475 customers were without power in Wexford County but two hours later all customers had been restored.
Great Lakes Energy spokesperson Lacey Matthews said high winds were responsible for widespread power line damage Monday afternoon that affected almost 8,000 Great Lakes Energy members in 17 counties. Most of the tree-damage to power lines due to the storm is in parts of Antrim, Kalkaska, Lake, and Newaygo counties.
She also said restoration progress will depend on the high winds which are not expected to subside until Tuesday morning. Great Lakes Energy members are reminded to stay away from downed power lines and also stay clear of trees and limbs hanging on the lines, Matthews said.