Storms pummel state, drench Detroit

Tom Greenwood and Laurel Abdel-Razzaq
The Detroit News

The line of thunderstorms that pummeled The Thumb and southeastern Michigan has moved on but left 63,000 homes and businesses without power Monday morning.

Storm clouds roll into the Traverse City area in this photo taken from Bluff Road.

Winds clocked in the area of 60-70 mph knocked down trees, branches and power lines, according to DTE Energy Co. spokesman Scott Simons.

“Approximately 92,000 DTE Energy customers lost service late Sunday night and early Monday morning, and 63,000 customers are without power now,” said DTE spokesman Scott Simons.

“Nearly 30,000 DTE clients have had their electric service restored.”

According to DTE, outages are scattered throughout southeastern Michigan, with the hardest hit areas including: Thumb area, 25,000; Wayne County, 17,000; Livingston County, 9,000; Oakland County, 8,000; Macomb County, 4,000 and Washtenaw County, 4,000.

“The vast majority of customers will be restored by late Tuesday night, although small clusters of customers and individual service problems won’t be completed until Wednesday,” Simons said.

“About 70 linemen from Ohio and Indiana will join 500 DTE linemen with the restoration effort.”

As much as 2 1/2 inches of rain fell on some sections of Detroit, according to the National Weather Service at White Lake Township.

“That much rain did cause some of the freeways to back up,” NWS meteorologist Steve Considine said. “But July was a fairly dry month, which meant that the ground could absorb the water. It also meant there are no problems with flood watches or warnings.”

The northbound Interstate 75 ramp at eastbound Interstate 94 in Detroit was closed early Monday due to flooding as torrential rain accompanied the storms, as was southbound 75 ramp to eastbound 94 due to water over the road.

Two inches of rain were recorded in Clinton Township and in Saginaw. Golf ball-sized hail also hit Saginaw and a small tornado touched down in western Huron County.

Glen Arbor residents look over damage from a suspected tornado Sunday in the northern Michigan community.

The National Weather Service said the tornado hit Owendale about 6:40 p.m. Sunday, damaging the roof of a school and knocking down trees. There were no reports of injuries.

“We’ll be heading out today to confirm the tornado,” Considine said. “But we haven’t heard about it producing any significant damage, so it will probably measure an EF 0 or EF 1 at most.”

In the northern Lower Peninsula, storms started around 10 a.m. Sunday and lasted for about 12 hours, according to NWS meteorologist Matt Gillen, working from the Gaylord station.

Softball-sized hail was found seven miles north of West Branch.

“We had several rounds of severe weather that lasted from the morning into the evening,” Gillen said. “We had large hail and winds of up to 70 mph that downed hundreds of trees and power lines. We’re sending out inspection teams this morning to firm up the wind numbers that did that damage.”

The NWS said there were no indication of tornado activities.

“There were just straight wind lines,”Gillen said. “Glen Arbor is one of the areas that we’ll be checking out for wind damage.”

According to the Consumers Power outage map, areas that are showing power outages Monday morning include Manton, Buckley, Marion, Tustin and Houghton Lake Heights.

A large branch shows signs of charring where it was struck by lightning in the Cadillac area.

“Rain fall averaged 1 to 2 inches in most areas, with Au Gres recording the most rainfall with 2.73 inches,” Gillen said.

The Center for Automotive Research canceled the morning session at its annual Management Briefing Seminars at the Grand Traverse Resort in Acme on Monday due to a power outage at the resort. With the help of generators, afternoon sessions, including some speakers from the morning session, are expected to take place.

Hundreds of people attend the annual car industry conference from across Michigan and beyond. Many of the guests are staying at the resort, which is without power.

The solid line of thunderstorms that dropped south from The Thumb and into the metro area cleared the Michigan border at about midnight, but that didn’t mean the end of the storm’s light and sound show.

“Depending on where you were, there was a slot of thunder and lightning,” Considine said. “Especially around the M-59 and Interstate 69 corridor.

State police at the St. Ignace post said the Mackinac Bridge was shut down briefly Sunday morning after a trailer fell over on its side due to high wind gusts. No injuries were reported. Winds were reported at 65 mph.

“We’ll dry out slowly over the next couple of days and temperatures will start to cool as of Monday,” Considine said.

“Monday will be partly sunny with temperatures in the 82 to 84 degree range. It will be the same for Tuesday with a high of about 80. And it will be even cooler on Wednesday with temperatures ranging from 74 to 76.”

According to NWS records, the normal highs and lows for Aug. 3 are 83 and 64 degrees respectively. The record high for this date was 96 in 1988 and 46 degrees in 1976.

(313) 222-2023

The Associated Press contributed.

Extended forecast

Monday: Partly sunny with a high of about 80. Wind gusts of up to 24 mph are possible.

Monday night: Partly cloudy with a low of about 56.

Tuesday: Partly sunny with a high near 76. Wind gust of 25 are possible.

Tuesday night: Partly cloudy with a low of about 54.

Wednesday: Sunny with a high of about 74.

Wednesay night: Partly cloudy with a low of 57.

Thursday: Partly sunny and 74.

Thursday night: Partly cloudy and 56.

Friday: Sunny and 75.

Friday night: Partly cloudy and 56.