An all-night, three-system storm that began late on Monday, June 30, caused many Midwest Energy members to be without power.

Significant damage occurred across the co-op’s entire southwest service area, with a total of 12,000 members without power, 253 outages, and 20 broken poles. “Our first crews were dispatched shortly after the first system hit at 10 p.m. Monday, and with the combined stellar efforts of our team with six mutual aid and six contract crews from across Michigan, we had full system restoration just 72 hours later,” reports Midwest communications director, Patty Nowlin.

“The lightning strikes alone on Monday evening’s radar gave us some indication of what we were in for,” Nowlin said. “By very early Tuesday morning, after the third system passed over, we knew we’d need help!”

“Midwest was down to about 3,800 in the late evening on July 1,” adds Joe McElroy, safety and loss control director for the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association (MECA). Crews from Great Lakes Energy and HomeWorks Tri-County Electric co-ops came to help, and MECA municipal partners from South Haven, Chelsea, Hillsdale and Bay City also had outages, he said. Midwest serves eight counties in both southeastern and southwestern Michigan.