Dafter, Michigan – A new year and new decade begins on an epic note for Cloverland Electric Cooperative as power outages reached historic records from Monday’s storm. Freezing rain and ice paralyzed the Eastern Upper Peninsula with outages affecting more than half of the co-op’s 33,000 members by Tuesday morning. Crews managed to decrease outage counts significantly by Tuesday afternoon. Approximately 10,000 Cloverland members remained without power on New Year’s Eve with the majority in Chippewa County.
Cloverland crews are assisted by mutual aid crews from five electric utilities downstate. Outages remain in approximately 300 locations, so the co-op has requested additional crews as they become available. Due to extensive storm damage that includes repairs to more than 200 line sections and numerous broken poles, exact restoration times are uncertain for this extended multi-day event. After two 16-hour days, Cloverland crews will once again work into the night until mandatory safety 8-hour rest. Mutual aid crews will continue assisting Cloverland crews with restoration efforts until all members have power.
“The snow load on lines and trees is extreme,” says Cloverland President and CEO Mike Heise. “Besides the risk of injury from a falling limb or tree, there is the danger associated with contacting an unsuspecting downed or low hanging line. Stay alert if you venture out and please report any safety concerns to us or your local emergency services. Be a member of our safety team too,” Heise adds.
Cloverland Electric urges its members and those visiting the area over the holiday to exercise caution over the coming days. Crews aiding in the recovery efforts are experienced and have the necessary training to do so safely. While members have offered to assist with clean-up efforts, the co-op reminds everyone that conditions are dangerous and cautions anyone eager to help. The best form of support is encouragement on social media.
“We share all comments with our employees. From our crews in the field to our everyone working countless hours behind the scenes, the positive feedback makes a difference,” says Heise. “Everyone wants to see the lights back on quickly and safely.”
As previously communicated, Cloverland Electric members need to consider alternate arrangements as necessary to ensure their safety during this extended outage that will take multiple days to restore. Those who depend on electricity for medical equipment should continue an emergency back-up plan for alternate sources of power or alternate lodging. Members with unmet, non-emergency needs should call 2-1-1 for guidance on local resources.
Cloverland Electric reminds the public to stay safe and stay clear of downed power lines and report them by calling (800) 562-4953 or local law enforcement agencies. Members with access to Cloverland Electric's website and Cloverland Electric’s Facebook page can stay current on restoration efforts and planned updates at 6 a.m./10 a.m./2 p.m./6 p.m./10 p.m. However, the co-op reminds its members not to use Facebook or other social media platforms to report outages, post service addresses, or other account information.
Cloverland Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit, member-owned utility located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It serves over 42,000 homes and businesses in Chippewa, Delta, Mackinac, Luce, and Schoolcraft counties.