Western U.P. cleaning up after severe storms

Western UP

GOGEBIC/ONTONAGON COUNTIES, Mich. (WJMN) – Severe thunderstorms in Gogebic and Ontonagon Counties left hundreds of people without power on Tuesday morning.

Xcel Energy is showing current outages in the area with the ability to report additional outages on the page. They provided us with the following information as they work to restore power.

Around 26,000 customers experienced an outage during the storms across Northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan and as of 11 a.m. around 8,300 customers are still without power with the vast majority of those in the Ashland, Wis. and Ironwood, Mich. areas.

Report your outage.

Customers can help Xcel Energy get a jump on power restoration by reporting outages. Customers have a number of ways to report their outage.

  • Via the Xcel Energy mobile app available on iOS and Android
  • Online at xcelenergy.com/out
  • Via text by texting ‘OUT’ to 98936 to report an outage, or text STAT to the same number to check the status of a power outage.
  • Call 1-800-895-1999 and follow the prompts—the automated phone reporting system lets customers report outages in less than 60 seconds. Once the cause of the problem is identified, the system or an Xcel Energy representative will provide customers with an estimated restoration time.

The Wakefield Post of Michigan State Police Post is asking people to please stay away from the Marenisco area while crews clean up the damage from Monday night’s storm and energy companies work to restore power.

The main Street of Marenisco is closed to through traffic and detours are set up to go around.

Marenisco Township Town Hall has been opened as a shelter for anyone who needs it.

Gogebic County Emergency Management/911 is sharing updates and information on its Facebook Page.

Marenisco Township Volunteer Fire Department is out responding to calls for help and assisting with damage cleanup as well.

The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (WUPHD) released the following safety information for people and businesses in the affected areas of Gogebic and Ontonagon Counties.

WUPHD reminds food establishment operators to follow the power outage recovery instructions in
their “Emergency Action Plans for Retail Food Establishments” guide (the yellow emergency book)
provided to them by the health department and available at WUPHD.org. Establishments withou
both power and water must close.

Residents should be aware that during a prolonged power outage, domestic refrigerators can only
keep food at safe temperaturesfor about four hours, if unopened. A full freezer will hold temperature
for about 48 hours if full (24 hours if half full). A food thermometer should be used to examine
potentially hazardous foods such as meat, poultry, fish, milk, cooked leftovers, deli cold cuts/salads,
and other perishable foods prior to consumption. Perishable foods should be discarded when the
food temperature has been above 40 degrees F for over 2 hours.

Private water wells used by residents and businesses for drinking water may need to be tested for
coliform bacteria or disinfected if system pressure was lost during the power outage.
If utilizing a generator please be aware of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators should
not be used indoors, in garages, or near enclosed space. Ensure the generator is not operated directly
below windows as exhaust and carbon monoxide can build up inside the home. Carbon monoxide is
deadly.

We spoke with Steve Hamilton with the Gogebic Range Trail Authority – ORV & Snowmobile Club on Tuesday.

He said, the stateline ORV route through Marenisco is temporarily closed due to downed trees.  Access from Wakefield east to Marenisco is possible via Dunham Road detour.  They do not advise entering the town of Marenisco due to ongoing emergency work.  They are meeting at the Marenisco trail head across from Two Fat Guys bar. They are looking for volunteers to saw trees so an excavator can set the chunks to the side. 

Volunteer contact:  Jerry Nezworski 906-285-0753 Vice President and Trail Boss

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