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Thousands of outages remain after Saturday storms, Wyoming among hardest-hit

Downed traffic lights at 36th and Byron Center in Wyoming.
Philip Bierlein
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Thousands of power outages remain across Michigan as of Sunday afternoon after severe storms including at least one tornado hit the state.

Consumers Energy officials say the greater Grand Rapids area was the hardest hit.

Company spokesperson Roger Morgenstern says about 12,000 Kent County customers remain without power as of Sunday afternoon.

The company reported more than 400 downed wires with more than 24,000 customers affected in Kent County on Saturday night.

“Our initial focus is to keep the public safe by making sure those downed wires are not causing safety hazards,” spokesperson Roger Morgenstern said on Saturday night. “The work is focused in Kent County and Allegan County (which are) the two hardest-hit areas.”

Morgenstern says Sunday that the majority of customers should be restored by midnight tonight, with some harder-hit areas of Wyoming and Grandville restored by Monday morning.

Downed trees in Wyoming, near Golden Street and Byron Center Avenue SW.
Credit Patrick Center
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Downed trees in Wyoming, near Golden Street and Byron Center Avenue SW.

There are many reports of property damage, downed trees and wires, and damage from flooding on Saturday, but no injuries have so far been reported.

The local National Weather Service bureau says teams are on the ground surveying damage to determine storm and tornado severity.

More information is expected from the bureau over the next day or two.

In Kent County, officials say the heaviest damage includes the city of Wyoming. Below is a compiled list of information and resources for residents current as of Sunday afternoon:

  • City officials are taking non-emergency calls related to storms until 5 p.m. today. You can call 616-530-7226. The city asks residents to stay home today so crews can work as quickly as possible on recovery efforts.
  • You can receive updates on power restoration by calling Consumers Energy at 1-800-477-5050 and selecting option 2.
  • Some traffic lights may still be down; residents are asked to treat intersections as four-way stops. City public safety officers are out directing some busier intersections.
  • Downed power line remain in the area. Residents are asked to report downed lines, if they have not already, to Consumers Energy by calling 1-877-477-5050 and selecting option 1.
  • The city has opened a resource center at Gladiola Elementary School, 3500 Gladiola Ave. SW, as a hub for community resources and information. It is open until 5 p.m. today. The Salvation Army is also at the center providing food and water for residents.
  • The Red Cross will be on-site at Gladiola Elementary at 1 p.m. to give residents disaster kits that include tarps and cleaning supplies. A Red Cross shelter is open at Lee High School, 1335 Lee SW.
  • The city’s yard waste center, 2660 Burlingame Ave. SW, is open around the clock for residential drop-off due to the storms. You can call the city’s Public Works Department starting Monday at 616-350-7260 to coordinate pick-up of larger debris.
  • Public Works crews will also be picking up yard waste next week. The city asks all debris for pick-up be placed behind sidewalks and not in the street or public right-of-way.
  • The Pinery, Lemery, Ferrand, Buck Creek and Prairie parks are closed until further notice.
  • Building and inspection permits will be waived for applicants making repairs due to storm damage.

The Van Buren County Road Commission reported multiple road hazards on Saturday, including areas of Bangor, Hamilton and Columbia townships and closure of the Kal Haven Trail.
In Grand Rapids, residents can drop off yard waste for free until 6 p.m. today at the city’s Butterworth Facility, 2001 Butterworth.

Several local municipalities, including Wyoming, are providing updates via social media. You can find the city of Wyoming here on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also view current outages through ConsumersEnergy.com/outagemap.

Hilary is a General Assignment and Enterprise reporter for WGVU Public Media. She joined WGVU in September 2014 after several years of experience as a local news reporter, anchor and photojournalist in Midland, Saginaw and Bay counties. She's also worked as a financial and business reporter and audio field producer.
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