Tuesday's storm create power outages, delay schools

WEST CENTRAL MICHIGAN — Thousands of households and businesses were still without power Wednesday morning after severe thunderstorms rolled through the day before. According to Consumers Energy and Great Lakes Energy outage maps, 8,638 customers in Mecosta, Osceola and Lake counties still had no electricity as of 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Communities along U.S. 10 were hit the hardest, with 3,136 homes and businesses in Osceola County and 3,673 in Lake County without power Wednesday morning. According to Consumers Energy, areas of Hersey (ZIP Code 49639) and Sears (49679) still had 95% and 93.9% of customers without electricity, and Evart (49631) had about 75.5% without electricity. Just west of Reed City,  Chase Township (49623) had 99.1% outage.

The storms hit about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, delaying schools from dismissing students on time. A tornado warning was issued in Isabella County about 2:30 p.m., delaying transportation dismissal for schools in Chippewa Hills School District. Big Rapids and Morley Stanwood districts also kept their students at school.

Evart police department reported down lines and trees throughout the city. Evart Middle School posted on Facebook that parents would need to pick up students who usually ride the bus because buses would not be going out. All Evart Public Schools were canceled Wednesday.

River Junction Bar and Restaurant, in Hersey, was set to reopen Tuesday after a lengthy closure because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, they had to postpone due to a power outage.

Consumers Energy has reissued new estimated times of restoration for the end of Wednesday.