When the power goes out, residents’ safety is the City’s number one priority. During these periods, Consumers Energy (800.477.5050) works to investigate and address the situation to get power restored as quickly as possible. While Public Works (616.940.4870) assists Consumers Energy in removing tree branches, Consumers Energy personnel are the only professionals authorized to work on the power lines. The City has no control over or special knowledge of power restoration.
After a storm, and once it is safe to do so, EGR Public Works will work on street and sidewalk clean up following regular yard waste collection policy.
The following guide lists resources and safety tips for during a power outage, created by Consumers Energy and the City of East Grand Rapids.
When the Power Goes Out
While the Power is Out
Avoid power lines: Please remember that downed power lines are extremely dangerous – stay at least 25 feet away at all times. Report all downed wires directly to Consumers Energy.
Driving: Stay off the roads during inclement weather. Should you need to drive during a storm, be alert to crews working along roads. Drivers should slow down or stop and wait for oncoming traffic to clear so they safely can go past workers on roadsides.
Generators: Never use a generator in an attached garage, basement, enclosed patio or near any air intakes. Hazardous levels of carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and deadly gas, can be drawn into your home.
Pipes: Prevent frozen pipes by allowing faucets to drip. You can learn more by reading our article on frozen pipe prevention.
Power surge: To avoid a power surge, unplug sensitive electronics like TVs, computers and printers and turn power strips off completely.
Network use: Save phone calls and texting for emergencies as phone networks become congested when there is limited access to wifi.
When Inclement Weather Has Passed/Power Has Been Restored
If you notice downed trees, please call Consumers Energy and Public Works. Consumers Energy will trim or remove trees interfering with electric restoration activities and the City will collect limbs from power lines, streets and sidewalks. However, once safe to do so, debris clean-up from tree trimming or removal during a storm emergency is the responsibility of individual property owners. If you have damaged limbs in your back yard, we ask you cut them up into 4' lengths and bring them to the curb for collection on your usual yard waste pickup day.
In some cases, the mast which holds the electric service wires to a customer’s home or business may have been damaged or torn away. Consumers Energy crews will reconnect the wires to a home, but only a licensed electrician can repair or replace a mast or a cable.
Preparing for the Next Power Outage
Given the climate of our state, power outages due to severe weather are unfortunately never out of the question. Prepare yourself and your family for the next occasion by collecting or replenishing your stock of canned and dry goods specifically set aside for emergencies and organizing an emergency kit that includes flashlights, back up chargers and a list of phone numbers.
A complete list of safety tips can be found on the Consumers Energy website.
As electricity is regulated by the state, any complaints or concerns should be directed to Consumers Energy or The Michigan Public Service Commission (1.800.292.9555).