Once the rain turned to heavy, wet snow, first responders and crews with Consumers Energy and Great Lakes Energy got to work dealing with power outages because of downed power lines throughout the day Sunday and into the night.
Great Lakes Energy’s outage map on its website indicated after 10 p.m. Sunday that more than 22 percent of its customers were without power in Mason County, 1,649 of 7,196. On the Consumers Energy outage map, on its website, indicated a portion a stretch of U.S. 31 from the bypass north to Freeman Road and stretching over to Fountain was out of power with power estimated to be back at 1:15 p.m. today.
Another area stretching along U.S. 10 west of Walhalla and past the Mason-Lake county line also was out, and the anticipated time of power restored was at 1:45 p.m. today.
“All available crews, with the help of contract and support crews, are working to restore power to the remaining estimated 11,600 members who remain without power,” stated Lacey Matthews, communications and marketing manager at Great Lakes Energy in a press release after 9 p.m. Sunday. “The largest number of power outages are impacting members in Lake, Mason, Newaygo and Osceola counties.
“If power is not restored by 10 p.m., members could be out of power overnight and may choose to seek alternative arrangements for the evening.”
Other outages in Hamlin and Pere Marquette townships were indicated to be restored by Consumers by the late afternoon, the website indicated after 10 p.m. Sunday.
The downed power, telephone and cable lines brought fire crews across the county out to put out reports of fires in trees or block off roads until power companies could make the necessary repairs. Those reports were widespread across Mason County, from Free Soil to Hamlin Township to Logan Township. The calls occurred early Sunday into the night hours, too.
The weather and power outages also forced the closure of schools in the area. Ludington, Mason County Central, Mason County Eastern, Gateway to Success Academy and West Shore Educational School District all closed for today. Pentwater and Walkerville schools also closed.