A contingent of Indiana Michigan Power employees and contractors are responding to safety hazards, assessing damage and safely restoring power after strong early morning storms.
Heavy rain, lightning and strong wind gusts have contributed to more than 15,000 customers without electric service.
A majority of impacted customers are in the hard-hit Southwest Michigan area.
OUTAGES (as of 11 a.m.):
MICHIGAN: Approximately 14,900
Benton Harbor/St. Joseph Area: 1,835
Buchanan/New Buffalo Area: 13,039
Three Rivers Area: 3
INDIANA: Approximately 400
South Bend/Elkhart Area: 180
Fort Wayne Area: 230
Heavy rain flooded a substation in the Bridgman area, impacting three other area stations and more than 14,500 customers across Southwest Michigan.
This is an unprecedented flood in the substation creating several unique challenges. To restore power as quickly and safely as possible, crews are actively working to install a new power line connection to circumvent the flooded substation, restoring the other three affected substations in the area.
It will take some time to build the line and reroute power, and those affected by the
substation outage should expect to be without service throughout the day and into this evening.
I&M crews are also working to restore power to other customers in Michigan and Indiana affected by this morning’s weather.
Another round of storms are set to roll through I&M’s service area this evening and overnight, which may cause additional outages.
After the storms, there are numerous safety hazards customers and customers should use caution:
Stay away from any downed wires and report them to I&M. You can contact I&M by calling 1-800-311-4634, report on our app or website, or call 911.
Use caution around debris and fences. Fallen limbs and other debris can hide downed power lines, and a downed line may be contacting a fence out of line of sight. Look around carefully.
Avoid standing water, especially if a downed wire is near. Electricity can travel through water.
Look up as trees could fall at any moment.
Use caution as traffic lights may not be working and be mindful of first responders and utility workers on the roadways.
Take frequent breaks if working outside or cleaning up due to the high heat index set for today.
Make sure you are hydrating and taking all precautions when in the sun.