ALPENA - The amount of snow accumulation that occurred over the weekend in Northeast Michigan left many residents without power and kept local area police busy.
According to the latest data from Presque Isle Electric and Gas, there were around 16,000 power outages across Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op's service area after more than a foot of heavy snow fell Friday night into Saturday.
The snow has now frozen onto most trees, leaving them broken or sagging over roads and into lines, but all available PIE&G employees and outside contractors are working to make repairs and respond to outage calls.
News Photo by Jessica Nikolich
Bob Fournier finishes clearing the last of the weekend’s snow on the sidewalk outside his house and another he owns on State Ave. late Sunday afternoon. “I think the snow is wonderful,” he said, adding that it will help prepare the ground for his vegetable garden. The snowstorm hit Northeast Michigan with a range of accumulation. Alcona County saw the least amount of snow with 2 inches along the county coast, and Rogers City saw as much as 12 inches.
PIE&G has restored electricity to approximately 6,800 services, but current estimates show 9,800 services were still without power Sunday evening. Worker access to equipment and lines are said to be obstructed by the frozen, drooping trees and deep snow. Outages are expected to extend into next week, possibly as late as Friday.
PIE&G provides electric and natural gas service to approximately 40,000 people throughout nine counties in Northeast Michigan and is not the only company seeing power outages due to Friday and Saturday's heavy snow and high winds.
Alpena Power customers in Alpena County and the Hillman area are experiencing power outages after the heavy snow that brought down numerous trees, power poles, and power lines. Crews are said to have began working at approximately 10 p.m. on Friday and have continued since.
On Saturday approximately 300 customers were without power over night, and it is anticipated that not all customers will have power restored by Sunday night.
Executive Vice President Elaine Orr said it is Alpena Power's commitment to restore power as quickly as possible to customers while protecting the safety of employees and the general public.
According to Dispatcher Mike Amlotte, Alpena City Police was also busy over the weekend with snow-related issues.
"We were busy, but we knew it was coming and that it was all going to be snow-related. The biggest event that occurred over the weekend were because of snowmobiles," Amlotte said.
Although in general Northeast Michigan saw heavy snow over the weekend, some local areas received more accumulations than others.
According to Gaylord National Weather Service Meteorologist Tim Locker, Alpena County had a total of 4.7 inches of snow, Alcona had two inches along the county coast and up to 8-10 inches in the northwest regions. Montmorency had 8-10 inches throughout the area, and Rogers City had 12 inches of snow.
Sunday night reached a low of -10 degrees with wind and light snow flurries throughout the night, but the beginning of this week is reported to have mostly sunny skies. Tuesday will reach 43 degrees, and there will be a chance of rain on Wednesday, where Locker said Northeast Michigan could reach a high of 50 degrees.
PIE&G members whose power is restored, but later goes back out again are urged to contact the company at (800) 423-6634 to report the repeat outage and help locate any problems in the circuit.
Emily Siegmon can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5687.