Storm FAQ's <click here>
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Real-Time Outage Information
For Real-Time outage information, click here.
The Real-Time Outage information is based upon outages appearing in our Outage Management System. Calls can be entered into this system by a member calling into our office and reporting the outage to a member service representative, by calling and reporting the outage on our automated system, by our Automated Meter system detecting an outage on the system and by logical determination based on a combination of factors.
If Your Power Goes Out...
Cherryland Electric Cooperative Outage Restoration Procedures
When you call the cooperative, we record your outage and any damage you report. Your information, along with information received from others, is entered into a computer. The computer compiles the information and summarizes the outage pattern. This helps us to map and pinpoint the trouble areas, and efficiently dispatch repair crews.
We begin our restoration at the point where the power feeds into CEC's system. This could be on a transmission line, at a substation or a main distribution line. After these have been repaired, the crews then work on remaining outage problems. Crews correct the trouble in areas that serve the greatest number of customers first and work until electricity is restored to each customer's home.
(231) 486-9200 or (800) 442-8616
Your call is important. Please supply the requested information for our automated system, or you can hold for the next available customer service professional. The information you supply will help us in our efforts to promptly restore electricity.
If Your Power is Off...
If you call during a time of widespread outages, an automated outage reporting system may answer your call.
Crews will be out as soon as possible and extra calls prevent those who have not reported their outage from getting through.
Catastrophes like ice, snow, and wind storms may cause extended outages. Rest assured that CEC personnel are working as quickly as possible to restore your electrical service.
It is wise to be prepared for an extended outage. Keep flashlights and portable radios on hand with a supply of extra batteries. Keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed to prevent food spoilage. Food will keep for long periods if doors remain closed. Don't cook inside with charcoal. Be extra careful with candles, kerosene lamps, heaters and fireplaces.
Have a supply of water on hand if you depend on a well. If it's winter, try to keep door openings to a minimum and use blankets, sleeping bags and extra clothes to keep warm.
If portable generators are used, they must be isolated from our lines. Generators, even small ones, that are not isolated can feed back into our electrical system and possibly electrocute anyone coming in contact with those wires.
When The Storm Hits...
The first step is to attack the problems that will get the most customers back on with the least amount of effort. Accounts with life support equipment are given a high priority. All employees work long hours during large outages.
The electrical distribution system is similar to our highway system. Main electrical circuits are like interstate freeways. Taps off of main circuit lines are similar to state highways, service wires to individual customers that lead from taps approximate local streets. Lastly, service entrances act as driveways to customer's homes.
We concentrate first on main circuits for the "interstate". Interstates carry the most traffic like main circuits carry the most electricity. By repairing the interstate first, motorists whose highways, streets and driveways are clear can proceed home. Likewise, customers with undamaged taps, service wires and entrances leading to their homes will have electric service restored when the main circuits are reenergized.
Next, the "state highways" are cleared, or repaired. Now most of the motorists get home. Similarly, when taps that lead from main circuits are repaired, most customers have lights.
The work then focuses on "local streets". After the limbs are moved from the street, all but those whose driveways are blocked can make it to their destination. Likewise, as the last part of the effort, our crews repair individual service wires.
Just as homeowners have to clear their own driveway, customers are responsible for repairing the equipment and wires that interface their home with our system. If their service entrance is damaged, power won't be restored until they have it repaired. Like some motorists that may have problems with every road on their trip, some customers may have damage to every part of the electrical system leading to their home. If all three roads need to be repaired for you, that's what can take extra time. Be sure to look at the diagram above to get an idea of how your cooperative's electrical system is constructed.
Members on Life Support
It is very important that members with life support equipment have their physician inform CEC of this situation before an outage occurs. These members will be placed on a priority listing and all efforts will be made to restore their service first.
Watch Out for Us
Because of the location of many power lines, our employees and equipment frequently work along roadsides. Please slow down and be aware of utility crews in these areas. It's very important to stay away from any downed lines and notify us about them immediately.
Power supply occurrences (zaps & blinks) that were unnoticed years ago are "reported" today by the many electronic devices all around us. Before digital clocks, we never noticed these blinks. Now these aggravating events seem to happen all the time. They are not more frequent, but we are more aware of them.
The Causes of Blinks
It might surprise you to know that most power quality problems begin right in the home or business. A spike (a.k.a. transient surge) may occur in the building's wiring when electric motors, like those on the refrigerator or air conditioner, start up. Other problems may come from faulty wiring, loose connections, poor grounding and/or inadequate wire size. These conditions can cause voltage drops, momentary outages (blinks), or electrical noise.
Many times, having the power blink is better than the alternative: having it go out completely. Blinks are sometimes caused by devices designed to protect the electrical system. These devices are called RECLOSERS. With one major difference, reclosers essentially act like the circuit breakers in your home. The difference is that reclosers reset themselves after "breaking" the circuit. The intent is that a tree touching the line, or other problem, will cause the recloser to open. The device will reset itself and power will once again flow down the line. If the problem has cleared the line, power will stay on. If the problem still exists, the recloser will operate again.
After trying three times, most reclosers are designed to "stay open" until the problem is fixed and the device is manually re-set. The opening and closing of the recloser is almost instantaneous, and is often not even noticed, except by electronic devices such as digital clocks. The alternative to using reclosers is to use "fuses" on each line. While greater use of fuses would result in fewer "blinks," it would create more outages.
CEC is constantly patrolling the power lines to identify potential "blink causing" problems so that we can take preventative measures. While we may not be able to prevent all blinks, please let us know if your home or business experiences an excessive number of blinks or other power problems. We want to know so that we can serve you better.
The Causes of Outages
There are many reasons outages occur on an electrical distribution system. Outages can be caused by people, including excavators hitting underground power lines; by animals touching overhead utility equipment; by lightning creating system equipment failure, or by other weather-related causes such as ice or heavy, wet snow.
Cherryland Electric Cooperative is making many distribution system improvements designed to combat these problems and increase service reliability to members. With the implementation of a new program designed to locate failing insulators, Cherryland Electric has reduced its number of blinking lights caused by lightning. More lightning arresters and ground rods are also being placed on the system which redirects lightning strikes away from transformers and insulators.
If your power has been interrupted, here's what to do if your lights go off:
We have an automated 24-hour phone system easily accessible by dialing (231) 486-9200 or toll-free in MI (800) 442-8616