After storms, tornadoes, 43K still without power

The Detroit News
Storms and tornadoes uprooted trees and knocked out power to tens of thousands of people in western and middle Michigan.

The storms and tornadoes that ran through middle Michigan this week have left some 43,000 homes and businesses remaining without power, Consumers Energy announced Thursday. 

“The cooler, less humid conditions are helpful to the men and women working up to 16 hours per shift to get the lights back on,” Tim Sparks, Consumers Energy vice president of electric grid integration said in a release. “We know it’s been a challenging few days for our customers and we appreciate their patience.”

Consumers Energy crews including workers from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee energy providers, are working on power restoration, the company said. 

More than 2,000 Consumers Energy employees and contractors are engaged in the restoration effort.

Since Sunday evening, more than 217,000 electric customers lost power. The weather pattern included high winds, heavy rain, lightning and four confirmed tornadoes in areas of northern Michigan.

As of 11:30 a.m. Thursday, about 43,300 Consumers Energy customers were still in the dark, the company said.

In Metro Detroit, though, the DTE Energy Outage Map shows few outages.

Thursday will be humid but cooler than early in the week. The morning is off to a cool start, in the low 60s. But the air is thick, with humidity at 76 percent. Thursday's high will reach about 75 degrees, with low winds and no precipitation on the radar. 

Friday will be dry and sunny, and will reach high temperatures of about 80 degrees.

Saturday will be hot, windy, and possibly wet, with a high in the mid-80s and the chance of precipitation ranging between 30 and 50 percent for most of the day.

Thunderstorms could hit late that evening, and wind gusts could reach 20 miles per hour.

Sunday will be hot, with high temperatures approaching 90 degrees. The thunderstorms that are a possibility to hit on Saturday night might linger into the morning.

Five tornadoes touched down in northern Michigan Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service said.

Two weak tornadoes landed near Alba in Antrim County, another weak tornado made landfall near West Branch in Ogemaw County and two others landed near the village of Sterling and Au Gres in Arenac County.