JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — Nearly 50 Consumers Energy workers are headed to North Carolina this morning to help restore power after tens of thousands of customers were left without power from a series of severe storms across the Southern and Southeastern U.S. in the last several days.
The 15 Consumers Energy crews, equipment and support personnel are from more than 20 different service centers across Lower Michigan.
“We are pleased we can assist the residents of North Carolina while still having enough crews here in Michigan to serve our customers,” said Guy Packard, Consumers Energy’s vice president of electric operations in a press release. “We have benefitted from mutual assistance during large storms here. Now is our time to help others.”
In addition, Consumers Energy has released 15 contractor crews from across the state who work for the energy provider. They are headed to Richmond, Virginia.
The Consumers Energy personnel will be assisting Duke Energy. They are scheduled to leave from Jackson later this morning for what will be a two-day trip ending in Newton, N.C. Crews may be asked to perform additional restoration work in neighboring states because of the widespread damage and additional severe weather expected.
More than 5 million homes and businesses across the U.S. have lost power at some point this week from a series of storms.
The assistance is coordinated via Great Lakes Mutual Assistance, a group of electric providers in 10 states, including Consumers Energy, that work together to restore power after major storms.
Last June, Consumers Energy hosted mutual assistance crews from Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee and Alabama to help restore power to more than 305,000 customers after several rounds of severe thunderstorms. The host utility pays all the costs of the assisting companies.
Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.