(Cassopolis, MI) – Midwest Energy Cooperative members across northern Indiana and southwest Michigan are enjoying the comforts of home again tonight (Thursday, July 14th) as all electric service has been restored. A small group of customers in a heavily damaged area of Paw Paw still require some clean up and rebuilding, and co-op crews are working individually with those members with plans to finish up that work first thing Friday morning.
Crews have been working around the clock since Monday’s massive storm, which took out power to nine cooperative substations and more than 15,000 members, representing nearly 45% of the total customer base of the utility. The storm was very widespread, affecting customers in nearly all areas of this service territory, and caused severe damage with broken poles and downed trees and power lines. The severity of the damage made restoration much more time- and labor-intensive as it required significant clean up and rebuilding of system infrastructure. Cooperative crews were aided in restoration efforts by numerous contract crews, as well as mutual aid crews from other Michigan cooperatives.
“The severity of this storm system took us by surprise and resulted in some of the most significant damage we have seen in a long time,” said Mike Roush, vice president of operations. “We are grateful for the support and patience of our members as we worked to restore service, and I am personally thankful for the dedication of our crews and entire employee family. Because we are a locally-owned and operated utility, many of our own employees also experienced outages. We’re truly all in this together, and I appreciate the way the member family and the employee family worked together to get through this.”
This is the third major storm to impact the region this year. The February ice storm and the Memorial Day weekend storm both resulted in massive outages and caused severe damage across portions of the service territory.
Any co-op members remaining without service at this time are asked to contact the cooperative at 1-800-492-5989 to report their outage.
Midwest Energy Cooperative is a member-owned electric utility providing electric distribution and an assortment of energy-related programs and services to more than 35,000 customers in 11 counties in southern Michigan and northern Indiana and Ohio.
Source: News release from Midwest Energy Cooperative