Due to a severe thunderstorm leaving thousands without power in Montcalm County and surrounding areas, Consumers Energy officials are asking people to seek shelter from the heat.
The storm hit Montcalm County in Thursday’s early morning hours, leaving many trees, branches and power lines down throughout the county.
“We currently have 7,713 residents without power in Montcalm County,” said Debra Dodd, spokeswoman for Consumers Energy. “Ionia County has 973 (without power).”
Dodd said more than 80,000 residents throughout Michigan lost power overnight. Power is not expected to be restored until Friday, or even Saturday for the hardest-hit areas, according to Dodd.
According to WZZM TV 13′s weather forecast, temperatures will be in the high 90s today and Friday is expected to set records with temperatures over 100 degrees.
Dodd advises people without power to seek shelter with air conditioning.
Greenville Public Schools will open a “heat relief center” from noon to 5 p.m. today and and Friday at the Central Services Facility, 1414 Chase Road, according to Superintendent Pete Haines.
Road Commission for Montcalm County Managing Director Mark Christensen said road commission employees have been out since about 4:30 a.m. cleaning up damage from the storm.
“We mostly have branches and trees down throughout the county,” Christensen said. “Evergreen Township looks to be the hardest hit (in Montcalm County).”
While both the Road Commission and Consumers Energy works to clean up the storm’s mess, Dodd asks residents to be careful of downed power lines and to call Consumers Energy immediately at 1-800-477-5050 to report them.