More than 50 men and women from Consumers Energy headed to Indiana on Aug. 12 to help with power restoration efforts after strong storms tore through the Midwest on Aug. 10.
The 15 Consumers Energy crews, equipment, and support personnel were from 15 different service centers around Lower Michigan. On Aug. 11, Consumers Energy released 12 contractor crews from three Michigan-based electric companies who work for the energy provider.
The personnel will be assisting NIPSCO, the northern Indiana energy provider that had more than 90,000 customers affected by the severe thunderstorms and hurricane-force winds. The storms caused extensive damage to NIPSCO's distribution system, requiring additional help in making repairs.
"We are pleased we can assist our neighbors in Indiana while still having enough crews to service our customers and complete timely restoration after the recent storm," said Guy Packard, Consumers Energy's vice president of electric operations.
The assistance was offered through Great Lakes Mutual Assistance, a group of electric providers in 10 states that work together to restore power after major storms. In June, Consumers Energy hosted mutual assistance crews from Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee, and Alabama to help restore power to more than 305,000 customers after several rounds of severe thunderstorms. The host utility paid the entire cost of assisting utilities.
In Michigan, approximately 33,000 Consumers Energy customers were affected by the evening storms on Aug. 10. As of late Aug. 11 afternoon, about 3000 customers remained without service, with power expected to be restored to nearly all customers by Aug. 11, 10 p.m.