Storm Management Information Updated

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Saturday, July 9, 2016, 11:38 am
By: 
Alice Dreger

Above: Storm damage in Chesterfield Hills yesterday evening

UPDATE: East Lansing will provide a no-fee yard waste pickup this Monday, July 11. Read more by clicking here.

The birds are singing again in East Lansing, but in the background in many neighborhoods, area residents will also be hearing chainsaws and generators as a result of yesterday’s summer storm. The Ingham County Homeland Security & Emergency Management notification system says that “a line of 55-65 mph winds came through on Friday.” In East Lansing, Chesterfield Hills appears to have been especially hard hit, with many old maples severely damaged.

Local agencies are providing updated information about post-storm management for residents. Here’s what you need to know:

Downed lines and power outages: According to the Ingham County emergency system, in Ingham County, “Consumers Energy reports 2,533 customers affected with most getting restored by 11:30 p.m. tonight. The Lansing Board of Water & Light [BWL] reports 8,960 customers without power” in its entire service area, which includes Lansing and nearby townships.

Most of East Lansing is served by BWL. Yesterday BWL’s online page was showing that everyone had power, but their outage map suggested otherwise—that thousands of people in East Lansing had lost power at least for a short period. Some East Lansing residents are still without power, and outages may extend into Monday.

BWL crews are out working and, according to the City, “BWL has stated that a better assessment of restoration times will be provided today.” BWL's online app can be obtained for Apple and Android devices.

Residents should continue to stay away from any downed power lines and assume they are live. If there is an emergency that needs immediate attention, dial 911.

Outages and downed lines that are not an emergency can be reported by calling BWL at 877-295-5001, or Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050. (The general rule in East Lansing for streetlight service is that BWL maintains areas north of Grand River and Michigan Avenues, and Consumers Energy deals with the area south of there, so if you’re not sure which company to call, follow that rule.)

BWL wants you to know that if your house is without power because of “mast damage”—which means damage to where the powerline meets your house—you have to have your mast fixed before BWL can restore power. You do this by contacting a licensed electrician and having her or him come out to fix your mast. If this is the case, you should inform BWL about your situation, get the mast repaired, and then call BWL again to let them know you are ready for reconnection. You can find more information at BWL’s mast repair page.

Trees blocking roadways and sidewalks: East Lansing’s Department of Public Works (DPW) crews, called in on an emergency basis for the weekend, are working to make sure all streets and sidewalks are passable. The City asks that you report trees and branches that are blocking roadways or sidewalks by calling ELPD’s non-emergency number (517) 351-4220 and choosing option 1 when the automated system answers.

DPW crews cannot clean up where there are downed lines until the power companies deal with the lines, so if you see a downed line, stay away and call it in, as noted above.

The City asks you to be patient with DPW. There is a lot to clean up and the City’s staffing is not as high as it was ten years ago, due to budgetary challenges.

Curb-side pickup of storm debris: DPW will start picking up plant debris from the storm starting on Monday, July 11. According to the City today, “Residents with downed branches and limbs in their yards can place them curbside and the City will pick them up. Residents are asked not to place storm debris in the street or on sidewalks. The cleanup process is estimated to take a number of weeks, so patience with curbside pickup is appreciated.”

You do not need to cut items in half or bundle them. Just drag them to the curbside (but don’t put them on the sidewalk or in the road). The City advises that for safety reasons you “consider hiring a professional to clear larger branches and unstable/downed trees.”

UPDATE: Read our special report on the no-fee yard waste pickup scheduled for Monday.

Checks on senior citizens and neighbors with disabilities: Particularly if your neighborhood is without power, it is a good idea to check on neighbors who are senior citizens and have disabilities. The ELPD has been working on this but reminds you that “If you have a loved one who would benefit from an ELPD wellness check, please call (517) 351-4220” and choose option 1 when the automated system answers. You can also call ELPD if you’re simply worried about a neighbor or about a house where neighbors are away.

Cancellations: We have not received reports of any cancellations of events this weekend other than last night’s concert. So it looks like tonight’s free concert with Gemini is on, as is the Farmer’s Market tomorrow.

Be ready for emergencies: The ELPD advises you sign up for emergency notifications via Nixle at https://local.nixle.com/register/.

ELi advises you to sign up for our free weekly mailer, which contains a digest of everything we published in a week, because in the event of serious emergencies, we will use the mailer list to distribute information. You are also encouraged to sign up for our Twitter feed and to check our Facebook page.

 

 

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