Saturday afternoon update: Restoration work continues for Consumers Energy customers impacted by last weekend’s devastating ice storm and those affected by ice melting off trees and equipment from Friday’s and today’s warmer weather.

As of 11:30 a.m. Saturday, about 18,000 Consumers Energy customers remained without service, including 3,667 in Barry County and 468 in Ionia County. Since noon Dec. 21, the storm has caused 409,000 outages, or about 23 percent of the utility’s 1.8 million electric customers.

Friday and Saturday were days of progress for electrical-restoration efforts in the aftermath of last weekend's ice storm, officials said.

Temperatures above freezing and partly sunny skies helped, Consumers Energy officials said.

As of 4:45 p.m. Friday, about 36,400 Consumers Energy customers remained without service. Since noon last Saturday, Dec. 21, the storm has caused about 392,000 outages, affecting more than 21 percent of the utility’s 1.8 million electric customers.

Consumers Energy

Among counties most affected by the outages are Kent, with 353 customers without power; Barry, 5,739; and Ionia, 1,565.
There were more than 20,000 customers in Kent County without electricity at the peak of the outages.

Jackson, Mich.-based Consumers Energy expects power to be restored to most customers by the end of Saturday. More than 3,300 Consumers Energy employees, contractors and out-of-state help are working to restore electricity.

With an overnight low of 24 degrees, the temperature hit 37 degrees at Gerald R. Ford International Airport on Friday afternoob, according to the National Weather Service's Grand Rapids office. The forecast calls for a high of 39 degrees on Saturday with partly sunny skies and a low Saturday night near freezing. Snow showers and a high of 32 are expected Sunday.

The American Red Cross had opened shelters in Grand Rapids, Middleville and Delton, but is now only operating a shelter at Thornapple Kellogg Middle School in Middleville. There were 10 people using the shelter as of Friday afternoon, according to the Red Cross.