Despite some extra efforts, Christmas is a powerless holiday for many in greater Grand Rapids and across West Michigan because of snow, cold and the lingering effects of a weekend ice storm, officials said Tuesday.

More than 152,000 electricity customers of Consumers Energy were without power headed into Tuesday evening.

“With today’s work, we have restored power to more than half of the customers who lost electricity in the storm, but we know we’re not done yet,” said Mary Palkovich, Consumers Energy’s vice president of energy delivery, in a statement. “We continue working around the clock to restore the remaining customers as safely and quickly as possible.”

As of 5 p.m., there were 3,782 customers without electricity in Kent County; scattered outages in Ottawa County; 2,194 in Allegan County; 14,825 in Barry County; 3,853 in Ionia County; 1,344 in Kalamazoo County; and 1,055 in Montcalm County.

Snowfall from Monday night into Tuesday was reported as 3.1 inches at Gerald R. Ford International Airport, 2 inches in Tallmadge Township, a half-inch in Allendale Township, more than 6 inches in Holland, 4 inches in Allegan, 8.3 inches in Fremont and about 18 inches in Muskegon County near Holton, according to the National Weather Service's Grand Rapids office.

The overnight low was expected to reach 4 degrees, with highs about 28 degrees Wednesday. Windy and snowy conditions are expected with wind chills near zero. The forecast calls for about 2 inches of snow during the day and another 2 inches Wednesday night with lows near 20.

John Winkelman
John Winkelman

Jackson, Mich.-based Consumers Energy reports it does not expect to restore power in the hardest-hit areas until Wednesday in northern Kent County; until Thursday in greater Grand Rapids, including eastern and western Kent County, and Allegan, Ionia and Montcalm counties; until Friday in portions of Kalamazoo and Calhoun counties; and until Saturday in some areas of Ottawa and Barry counties.

More than 2,900 field and office employees from Consumers Energy, Michigan-based contractors and workers from 11 states and Washington, D.C. are focused on the storm restoration.

“Some of the men and women working to restore power remain without power at home themselves, or have friends or family affected." Palkovich said. "We appreciate the continued patience of all of our customers."

Consumers Energy said power outages can be reported at (800) 477-5050 or online. In addition, Consumers Energy is sharing restoration update estimates at its Facebook page.

The American Red Cross has opened shelters in Grand Rapids, Middleville and Delton. Call 2-1-1 for emergency shelter information, authorities said. Emergency shelter details are also available online from the American Red Cross online.


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