JACKSON — Consumers Energy is advising the public to practice extreme caution when visiting areas near its 13 hydroelectric generating plants in the winter months, located on the Manistee, Muskegon, Au Sable, Kalamazoo and Grand rivers.
In particular, the utility is warning people about the likelihood of thin ice up and downstream of the dams.
“Ice conditions on the reservoirs next to these hydro plants can change rapidly due to unpredictable weather. In particular we want the public to be aware of the possibility of thin ice and dangers associated with the ice immediately upstream of the dam itself,” said Donald Baker, river hydro superintendent for Consumers Energy.
Water currents at a hydroelectric plant can be hazardous in winter, when a reservoir may or may not be covered with ice. Ice near a dam is not reliable and should be avoided by snowmobilers, anglers and others enjoying recreation.
Ice-covered water down river from a hydroelectric facility should also be considered very dangerous and is never a safe place to walk.
Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), provides natural gas and electricity to 6.8 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.