LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Board of Water & Light and Lansing city officials say damage from Thursday’s devastating storms will take weeks to clear up–but they are working hard to get things done quickly.
At a press conference Saturday morning, BWL, along with Lansing Mayor Andy Schor, gave an update to people in the city about what they can expect from crews that are out working overtime–and provided a few tips for dealing with a situation like this.
“To put this storm into perspective, this is the largest restoration in Board of Water & Light history,” said BWL general manager Dick Peffley.
The city of Lansing is officially in a state of emergency, as Mayor Schor says he has requested a declaration from the governor.
Crushed cars, downed limbs and fallen power lines still cover the city of Lansing.
“We have never seen anything like this,” Peffley said Saturday. “We restored 10,000 customers yesterday, we have 17,000 remaining without power. We’re hoping to bring back another 10,000 on today, and then over the next two or three days after that, continue to whittle the numbers down.”
Mayor Schor gave a reminder that if a tree is down in your yard, you are responsible for clean-up.
“We continue to encourage residents with the yard waste that you can bundle it, put it out like you normally would with yard waste and we’ll get that taken up and the bigger stuff that you can’t, we’ll get to afterward,” said Schor. “But please, a little bit of grace and patience. It’s going to take us several weeks, and safety comes first.”
Lots of calls are coming in on the non-emergency hotline, 311. Yesterday there were 562 calls in one day; the prior week had 306 calls for the entire week.
In response, a new feature has been added to the 311 hotline.
“We did institute a system where people can press 2 to get a callback, so they didn’t have to wait in line,” Schor said.
For people who feel communication on cleanup and road closures is slim, Schor reminds everyone that right now the first priority is power restoration.
Peffley said though restoration efforts are gradual, they are moving in the right direction.
“We do have the resources to put all the wires back on the polls. We have the material. All we need is some time. So we’re asking for our customers to be patient,” said Peffley. “Our outage map is up and working. We continue to update the restoration times and they are shrinking, not growing, so that’s a good thing.”
The Lansing Connect app is another option for people to report storm damage.
Schor said Lansing’s community centers are open, for those who need them.
He also wants to remind people that when traffic lights are out, drivers should treat the intersection as a four-way stop.