DAFTER, Michigan – Over 10,000 Cloverland Electric Cooperative members remained without power for a second night as a result of freezing rain and ice that swept across the Upper Peninsula Monday. Current outage numbers are hovering around 7,600 services with the majority in Chippewa County, including the Sault Ste. Marie area and Kinross.
Outage counts peaked to historic levels Monday with more than half of the co-op’s 33,000 members in the dark. Although crews have restored thousands of outages since Sunday, additional outages have occurred and made it challenging to make an impact on the overall number which continues to fluctuate.
“As far as winter storms go, this one topped the list for doing the most damage to our electrical system,” says Cloverland Electric’s Director of Operations Paul Warner. “We have enlisted the help of mutual aid and tree crews and we certainly appreciate the continued patience of our members during restoration efforts.”
Additional crews from Great Lakes Energy arrived this morning, which allowed Cloverland to expand to 36 crews covering approximately 300 outage locations. Five other Michigan-based electric utilities have provided mutual aid crews who have been assisting since Monday. All mutual aid crews are secured for the duration of this outage event. Crews will continue to work 16-hour shifts with mandatory 8-hour safety rest until all members are restored.
“The snow and ice build-up from this storm have made the restoration efforts much more difficult than most other storms,” says Cloverland Electric’s Director of Safety Jim Wilson. “The trees continue to hang over the lines in a draped condition that makes it very hard to remove.”
Wilson adds that temperatures have not been favorable for snow to fall off trees and lines to return them to normal conditions. Crews are also working through the hazards of driving through roads covered with trees and rights-of-ways full of drooping trees making it difficult to see power lines and make repairs.
“All lines must be thoroughly examined to make sure that it is safe for the crew to re-energize,” says Wilson. “Safety for the crew and the public is a top priority.”
Cloverland Electric reminds members to continue alternate arrangements as necessary to ensure their safety during this extended multi-day outage. Those who depend on electricity for medical equipment should continue emergency back-up plans for alternate sources of power or alternate lodging. Members with unmet, non-emergency needs should call 2-1-1 for guidance on local resources such as warming shelters.
Cloverland Electric reminds the public to stay safe and stay clear of downed power lines and report them by calling 1-800-562-4953 or local law enforcement agencies. Members with access to www.cloverland.com and Cloverland Electric’s Facebook page can stay current on restoration efforts and planned updates at 8 a.m./2 p.m./6 p.m./10 p.m. However, the co-op reminds its members not use Facebook or other social media platforms to report outages, post service addresses or other account information.
Cloverland Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit, member-owned utility located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It serves over 42,000 homes and businesses in Chippewa, Delta, Mackinac, Luce and Schoolcraft counties.
# # #