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PIE&G Announces Purchase of Aurora Gas Company

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op (PIE&G) reached an agreement on May 1 to purchase Aurora Gas Co. (AGC), in a move that will strengthen PIE&G’s overall operations by expanding its membership base, PIE&G President and CEO Tom Sobeck said on Tuesday.

 

Effective immediately, AGC natural gas customers will become members of PIE&G, if they are not already members taking electric service. PIE&G will be contacting AGC customers soon regarding the transition of their accounts to PIE&G’s system.

 

“The economic climate in rural northeast Michigan is challenging and opportunities to expand are limited,” Sobeck said. “The acquisition of Aurora Gas Co. is a unique opportunity for PIE&G to increase the number of people it serves, which in turn benefits existing natural gas and electric members by spreading overall costs among more members.”

 

The acquisition, executed May 1, increases PIE&G’s natural gas services by about 28 percent, or 2,800 accounts.

 

Sobeck stressed the importance of building on the financial investment and personal commitment of the John and Helen Tierney family, owners of Aurora Gas Co., to Onaway residents for more than 34 years.

 

“PIE&G is proud to be in a position where we can help to keep their investment working in our local community while supporting the regional economy in northeast Michigan," Sobeck added.  "The principals of both companies recognize and are committed to providing the essential services required to enhance the quality of life for northeast Michigan residents." 

PIE&G Awarded Grant to Participate in Fiber to the Home Feasibility Study

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op (PIE&G) is pleased to announce selection by the Post Road Foundation for a study to evaluate the costs and benefits of deploying a fiber optic communications network to homes, businesses and other institutions in northeast Michigan.  Northeast Michigan and PIE&G are one of only five communities in the nation to be selected by the Post Road Foundation.  The PIE&G study, targeted for completion by September 30, 2018, will be used to evaluate means for deploying high-speed internet and intelligent infrastructure in PIE&G’s service territory in the most effective ways possible for digital inclusion, efficient resource management and economic growth.  Funding for the Post Road Foundation program, and related research at Harvard University, has been provided by The Rockefeller Foundation.                                                                                                

PIE&G’s successful application was the result of collaboration between PIE&G, Wolverine Power Cooperative (WPC) and Target Alpena – Development Corporation.  According to Tom Sobeck, President and CEO of PIE&G, “This partnership between PIE&G, WPC and Target demonstrates what can be accomplished when we work together to achieve common goals on behalf of our rural communities. The degree of economic success in our region depends very much on the ability of key community stakeholders to identify opportunities where working together maximizes future economic development and sustainability in northeast Michigan.”

The President and co-founder of the Post Road Foundation, Waide Warner, commended PIE&G and the other community partners: “We are very gratified by the exceptional response to our program from a number of deserving applicants around the country, but the leadership of PIE&G was particularly impressive. We are excited to have the opportunity to work with PIE&G, the other communities, and our research colleagues at Harvard, to explore the potential for bringing high-speed internet to underserved areas of America. We are also grateful to The Rockefeller Foundation for the funding that made this program possible.”

PIE&G Expects to Complete Restorations Later Today

PIE&G just completed repairs to 49 outages in the Beaver Lake (Turtle Lake Club) area.  Crews have been assigned to all of the (18) remaining scattered outages. Deep snow and remote locations interfered with the crews’ ability to reach damaged lines that were not accessible by bucket trucks or service vehicles. PIE&G brought in additional special off-road equipment and snowmobiles to reach a broken poles and trees on lines in the deep woods and swamp areas.

PIE&G expects that crews should be able to finish up all repairs by this evening, barring weather and other complications.

PIE&G cautions that, as temperatures climb by the end of the week, additional new power outages may be caused as trees and power lines start to release melting snow and come in contact with each other. PIE&G is prepared and will have crews standing by to respond as conditions require.

Once again, PIE&G is grateful to all affected members for their patience and understanding during this historic Winter Storm Xanto. 

Storm Update 7:30 pm Monday

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op (PIE&G) has all but 137 services restored this evening. Crews are still working, but deep snow is impacting their ability to reach damaged lines that are not accessible by bucket trucks or service vehicles. PIE&G brought in additional snow machines and other special off-road equipment to gain access to deep wooded areas where some of the problems are located. Most of the remaining outages are in Alpena and Montmorency counties.

The Tip of the Mitt received additional snowfall today, and current snow depths are estimated to be around 12 inches. Due to the widespread nature of the storm damage and weather conditions, some repairs are expected to continue into Tuesday. A few of the individual outages that are difficult to reach may carry into Wednesday.

PIE&G extends sincere appreciation to affected members for their patience while crews strive to make repairs as quickly and safely as possible under the circumstances. Updates for Tuesday, April 17 will be posted on our website home page, outage map and on Facebook.

Outage Update 9 pm Sunday

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op (PIE&G) had restored all but 750 services at 6 pm Sunday evening, but persistent strong winds caused additional line outages in the Mullet Lake area and also southeast of Cheboygan. This evening, PIE&G is predicting approximately 1,960 outages remaining. Most are in Montmorency and Cheboygan counties. PIE&G estimates that crews have restored over 12,800 of approximately 14,800 outages that were predicted to be off at some point since yesterday.

Sustained wind speeds of 40 to 48 mph, along with the cold and blowing snow, caused additional new outages today and affected repair times.  PIE&G has had help from three Wolverine Power line crews and additional contract line crews together with outside tree removal crews. Due to the widespread nature of the damage and continued adverse weather conditions, some repairs will continue into Monday evening.

PIE&G extends sincere appreciation to affected members for their patience while crews strive to make repairs as quickly and safely as possible under the circumstances. Updates will be posted on our website home page, outage map and on Facebook.

Storm Update 2 pm Sunday

Approximately 1,100 outages are being predicted by Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op (PIE&G) this afternoon. The largest line outages are near Atlanta, Canada Creek, Hillman, Lewiston, Lake Avalon and Beaver Lake in Montmorency County. Smaller line outages in Presque Isle County are near Hammond Bay, Hawks, and Posen, and in Cheboygan County near Indian River/Mullet Lake and Fingerboard Corners. PIE&G estimates that crews have restored over 11,400 of approximately 12,500 outages that were predicted to be out on its system since yesterday.

The sustained wind speeds of 40 to 48 mph through Monday, along with the cold and blowing snow, may cause additional new outages today and affect repair times. PIE&G has additional contract line and tree crews and special equipment to aid them in their efforts.  Due to the widespread nature of the damage and continued adverse weather conditions, some repairs may continue into Monday evening.

PIE&G extends sincere appreciation to affected members for their patience while crews strive to make repairs as quickly and safely as possible under the circumstances. Updates will be posted on our website home page, outage map and on Facebook.

Outage Update 9 am Sunday

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op (PIE&G) is predicting approximately 1,800 services without power this morning. The remaining outages are widespread, but most are in Montmorency County. So far crews have restored over 10,300 of the approximately 12,200 services affected since Saturday morning.

Winter storm Xanto continues to bring additional freezing rain, ice, snow and strong winds to northern Michigan. Wind speeds are predicted to be sustained at 40 to 48 mph through Monday. The winds and winter weather conditions may cause additional new outages today and affect repair times for broken poles, downed lines and tree removals. PIE&G has brought on additional contract line and tree crews along with special equipment. Their combined efforts will continue throughout the weekend.

Due to the widespread nature of the damage and continued adverse weather conditions, PIE&G expects repairs to continue into Monday and for some, possibly early next week. Members who are currently without power should make preparations to be without service for an extended period of time.  

Our member’s patience is greatly appreciated while progress is being made as quickly and safely as possible under the circumstances. Watch for updates on our home page, outage map and on Facebook.

To report power outages or any downed power lines, please call 1 (800) 423-6634.  Stay at least 25 feet away from downed wires and report them immediately to PIE&G or local law enforcement (911).

Winter Storm Update 7 pm

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op (PIE&G) is currently predicting approximately 2,150 services without power this evening. Crews have restored around 8,200 of the approximately 10,000 services affected so far today. PIE&G’s entire service territory experienced damage from Winter Storm Xanto. Most of the remaining outages are located in Montmorency County.

The winter storm is expected to push through northern Michigan into Sunday and possibly Monday, with the potential of additional freezing rain, ice, snow and gusting winds.  Weather conditions will contribute to additional new outages and longer repair times for broken poles, downed lines and tree removals. Wolverine Power and outside contract crews are working along with PIE&G crews and efforts will continue throughout the weekend. We appreciate our member’s patience while progress continues on repairs.

With the significant amount of storm damage and the potential for worsening weather overnight and tomorrow, PIE&G expects repairs to continue into Monday and for some, possibly Tuesday. Members who are currently without power should make preparations to be without service for an extended period of time. Updates will be available on our home page, outage map and on Facebook.

Historic April Winter Storm Xanto Wreaks Havoc

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op (PIE&G) crews are making steady progress with repairs since outage reports began early this morning. Currently, PIE&G predicts approximately 4376 open storm related outages (down from approximately 9,375 affected since 4:00 a.m.).  All nine counties in PIE&G’s service territory have been affected, with Montmorency and Cheboygan counties being affected most.

Winter Storm Xanto brought heavy wet snow and ice from the Plains into the Great Lakes region overnight. The storm’s duration is expected to continue tonight, Sunday and into Monday, with the potential for additional freezing rain and ice, snow and strong winds.  Some areas could see 18-24 inches of snow.  Worsening weather conditions will contribute to additional outages and longer repair times to replace broken poles, repair downed lines and remove trees from lines. Wolverine Power and outside contract crews are assisting PIE&G with their restoration efforts.

With the number of downed trees and lines, coupled with the potential for worse weather tonight and tomorrow, PIE&G anticipates that repairs will continue for several days. Members who are currently without power should make preparations to be without for an extended period of time. Continuing updates will be available on our website (pieg.com) and outage map, and on Facebook.

Please call 1 (800) 423-6634 to report power outages or any downed power lines.  Stay at least 25 feet away from downed wires and report them immediately to PIE&G or local law enforcement (911).

 

WEEKEND WINTER STORM WATCH – BE PREPARED!

A winter storm watch is in effect for northern Michigan this weekend that includes freezing rain, ice, heavy snow, strong winds and hazardous travel conditions.  These conditions usually cause downed power lines and outages. PIE&G has preparations made so we’re standing by ready to respond as quickly and safely as possible to restore power. In the meantime, here are some tips to help you prepare.

Charge your phone and have fresh batteries, flashlights and lanterns ready. Stock your pantry with non-perishable foods like cereal, crackers, snack bars, canned beans and fish, bread, peanut butter and jelly, and ready to eat items that don’t require cooking.  Fill your laundry sink or bath tub half way with tap water for bathroom use, and have bottled water and gallon jugs or dispensers for drinking and cleanup. Have food and water for pets. Have some cash on hand.

If you use gasoline, propane or natural gas-burning devices to stay warm, never use them indoors. These fuel sources should always be properly ventilated.  

Stay off the roads so crews can plow and salt. If you must travel, fill up your gas tank, allow plenty of travel time, use your headlights and take someone along or tell someone about your travel plans in case of emergency.

Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle with a blanket, cell phone and charger, bottled water, prescriptions and packaged snacks or fruit.  If you see downed lines across the road, stop! Do not attempt to drive over them. Always assume downed lines are energized and keep as far away as possible. Call 911 or PIE&G to report.

For more information, visit ready.gov/winter-weather or www.safeelectricity.org

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