At last count, over 18,000 customers in Jackson County, had experienced a power outage.  Some of those are at Clark lake at the east end, south side, in the area of Q Lane.  Consumers Energy reports over 260, 000 service interruptions statewide since Tuesday (see list of hardest hit counties below). 

WKL 2017 03-08 wind damage 1

Bill Leutz reports that 50 mph winds whipped through the Clark Lake area felling tree branches and trees.  At one time, “branches were down on Jefferson Road, Eagle Point Road, and Lakeview Drive, among other places.”  Here’s what the Consumers Energy outage map looked like at 7:45 pm today.  The gray-shaded areas indicate 1 -50 outages in that area.

power out

And how did the lake react?


BJ Lyons says “I’ve never seen the lake like this before. The waves were the highest ever.  Every so often when an extreme gust blew over the white caps, a plume of spray would launch into the air, leaving a mist hanging overhead.”  Clark Lake’s typically blue, clear waters were muddy and stirred up today.

Tucker Boyers captured what it looked like on Ocean Beach Road, near the Beach Bar.

TB 2017 03-08 high winds
Earlier in the day, Flip Reynolds caught the wind pushing huge amounts of water over the dam., unlike last summer when weeks went by with no water passing over.

FR 2017 03-08 high winds at dam ps
Encountering a downed power line can pose a serious safety hazard.  Consumers Energy recommends the following.

·         Stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines and to call 911 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050.

·         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.

·         Never use a generator in an attached garage, basement or near any air intakes, and never fuel a generator when it is running. Operating a generator without proper ventilation can create carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and deadly gas. If using a generator, contact a licensed electrician to ensure that it is properly connected and make certain it is isolated from the company’s electric distribution system.

·         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. Crews will reconnect the wires to a home, but only a licensed electrician can repair or replace a mast or a cable.

Consumers Energy says crews are repairing 3,000 downed wires and replacing 500 broken utility poles.  Ann Swain saw one of those broken poles along Clark Lake Road this afternoon.

AS 2017 03-08 untility pole down
As of 4 p.m., counties most affected by electric interruptions were: Alcona (2,351); Allegan (5,989); Antrim (540); Arenac (754); Barry (6,275); Bay (1,630); Branch (2,776);  Calhoun (9,825); Clare (935); Clinton (2,545); Eaton (4,738); Genesee (17,247); Gladwin (830); Grand Traverse (242); Gratiot (4,027); Hillsdale (3,556); Ingham (6,300); Ionia (9,256);  Iosco (952); Isabella (780); Jackson (18,274); Kalamazoo (16,994); Kent (38,438); Lenawee (9,040); Livingston (2,664); Mecosta (2,818); Midland (5,785); Monroe (4,827); Montcalm (5,722); Newaygo (1,996); Oakland (1,127); Ogemaw (370); Ottawa (2,847); Roscommon (1,870); Saginaw (7,285); Shiawassee (4,169); St. Joseph (1,200); VanBuren (1,874); Washtenaw (1,297)  and Wexford (936).

It takes many years for a tree to grow to maturity.  But it doesn’t take long for one to be felled in weather like today.  These two photos are examples, courtesy of Cara King.  The King’s live on Eagle Point Road.

Cara high winds 2017 03-08 1Cara High winds 2017 03-08 2