Severe thunderstorms, lightening, powerful winds and heavy rain swept through parts of northern Michigan causing downed trees, flash flooding and widespread power outages for thousands of Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op (PIE&G) members. A tornado warning was issued Saturday afternoon for portions of Emmet and Cheboygan county, with reports of possible funnel clouds in the area. PIE&G crews were dispatched and worked all night assessing damage and making repairs. Wolverine Power Cooperative also lost at least one substation for a few hours, which serves PIE&G’s distribution lines.
Currently, PIE&G is predicting approximately 7,000 outages that are widespread throughout its nine-county service area. So far, the largest numbers are reported in Cheboygan and Presque Isle Counties, but the damage is widespread. Approximately 9,850 services have been restored so far.
Due to the extent of tree damage on lines and number of broken poles, PIE&G anticipates that repairs will continue into Monday and Tuesday. Members who are currently without power should make preparations to be without power for several days. All available personnel are working and will continue restoration efforts tonight. Additional mutual aid crews have also been called in to assist.
PIE&G members should contact PIE&G immediately at (800) 423-6634 to report their power outage or any downed power lines. Residents are cautioned to stay at least 25 feet away from any downed wires and to report them immediately to PIE&G, 911 or a local law enforcement agency.