MARQUETTE COUNTY, MI – Calls about downed power lines and subsequent fires had slowed down by around noon on Tuesday. But hundreds of Upper Peninsula residents were still without power at 5 p.m. A combination of 50-to-60-mile-per-hour winds led to thousands of power outages in the central and western Upper Peninsula.
UPPCO is one of the largest energy providers in the U.P. At the peak of the storm, about 5,500 UPPCO customers were without power. Another 5,000 Upper Michigan Energy Resources Co. customers were also in the dark. As of 6:30 pm. Tuesday, the number of UPPCO customers waiting for power was down to about 500, and about 1,600 UMERC customers were still without power.
UPPCO Vice President Brett French said over 90 employees and contractors had been working around the clock to restore power to the company’s customers. French noted that his company alone responded to 370 locations to assess electrical equipment on Monday – 240 of those were in Marquette County.
French said up until this point, power companies have been responding to problems as residents report them. But the process should become more proactive in the coming days.
“As we’re completing the restoration work that we are currently completing we’ll begin to broaden the scope of the horizon a bit more. And then we will actually be doing some additional patrols, just to confirm that there’s not something out there that has not been reported yet,” French said. “Because at the end of the day, we want to make sure that the public safety is secured, and that we haven’t overlooked something or missed something along the way. There’s still a lot of work that will be done before the final chapter will be written on the event, even though all the customers may have their lights back on.”
If you see a downed power line or a problem with electrical equipment, it’s best if you can call the electric provider. You can also call 911. French said never approach or try to handle a fallen electric cable on your own.
WE Energies: 800-662-4797 WEBSITE: https://www.we-energies.com/outagemapext/#
UPPCO: (906) 449-2011 / (800) 562-7809 WEBSITE: https://www.uppco.com/outage-center/