June 19, 2014 at 11:04 pm

DTE, Consumers working to restore power in Michigan in wake of severe storms

A worker uses a chainsaw to cut down a damaged power pole as its lines sag just above Wattles Road in Troy on Wednesday. (Brandy Baker / The Detroit News)

After days of strong storms across the region that left thousands without power and produced lightning strikes that killed a man, Metro Detroit could get a break after Friday.

On Thursday night, power outages were down from as high as 50,000 to 6,000 — many in Wayne and Oakland counties, DTE Energy spokesman Scott Simons said. Most of those were expected to be restored later Thursday. The Consumers Power outage map showed fewer than 500 clients without power Thursday evening, down from a high of about 20,000 Wednesday afternoon.

The National Weather Service forecasts a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Friday afternoon and night, with highs in the 70s and lows in the upper 50s.

Sunny skies are expected Saturday and Sunday, with temperatures nearing 80 degrees, the weather service said.

That’s a relief from rounds of violent storms that wreaked havoc earlier this week.

Afternoon storms Wednesday, with wind gusts of up to 81 mph, toppled trees, snapped tree limbs and downed power lines across the Metro area. Several inches of rain caused flooding in some areas.

Authorities said a lightning strike killed a 32-year-old man at a park near Ann Arbor.

Township police Deputy Chief Gordy Schick said the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed lightning killed Dustin Flodin.

Authorities said a man walking his dogs found the Saline man’s body Wednesday night.

Lightning strikes also sparked fires in Davison and North Branch. Twitter showed a photo of a house in Sterling Heights that reportedly had been struck by lightning. Lightning also struck buildings in Sterling Heights, Clinton Township and Warren, according to broadcast reports.

Power outages also were responsible for the closing Thursday of four Detroit Public schools.

The Associated Press contributed.