Complete power restoration not expected for days following Monday night storms

Published 4:52 pm Tuesday, June 14, 2022

MICHIANA — Power remains out for thousands of southwest Michigan and northern Indiana residents following heavy rain and winds that blew through the area Monday night.

Indiana Michigan Power is reporting that as of 4 p.m. Tuesday, about 30,700 customers, including 300 in the Buchanan area, are without service, down from a peak of 40,700. 

More than 450 mutual assistance crews will join 450 I&M line workers, forestry experts, support crews and contractors to restore power for customers. Mutual assistance crews from Oklahoma, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee are arriving tonight and will be in place to help with restoration efforts Wednesday morning. Crews are focused on working safely in the heat, staying hydrated and restoring electrical service.

Midwest Energy and Communications reported that as of 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Power remains out for roughly 5,000 Midwest customers. MEC stated that complete restoration is not expected Wednesday, but crews will continue to work around the clock. I&M has estimated power will be fully restored by 11 p.m. Thursday, June 16.

Severe winds of up to 98 mph caused many trees and limbs to snap and come into contact with electrical equipment. I&M is using drones to help with assessment in hard-to-reach areas and along miles of power lines. I&M crews discovered:

  • More than 140 broken or damaged poles
  • 16 damaged transformers
  • More than 300 individual spans of downed wires

The number of fallen trees and damage in hard-to-reach areas along with the excessive heat are hindering restoration efforts as crews need to remove trees, have specialized equipment to begin repair work and take frequent breaks to stay safe