Thousands of power outages remain after high winds reach Metro Detroit

The Detroit News

Most of the customers who lost power after high winds battered southeast Michigan on Thursday have had it restored.

A wind advisory expired mid-afternoon, but as many as 75,000 customers of DTE Energy and Consumers Energy customers were without power for much of the day. Fewer than 4,000 are still waiting for it to be restored early Friday.

"Our crews are working to quickly and safely restore power to customers impacted by today’s windstorms that lasted for much of the day and gusted up to 50 mph," DTE said in a statement Thursday. "We estimate that 95% of customers will be restored by the end of the day, with the remainder of customers restored by tomorrow evening."

Warren officials reported a significant power outage in the city, including power lines that fell on a vehicle.

Winds of 20-25 mph were recorded with gusts to 50 mph, the weather service said. Detroit Metro Airport recorded a maximum gust Thursday morning of 52 mph.

Warren Mayor James Fouts said power lines were down in the northeast area of the city and traffic lights were out at intersections at 11 Mile and Groesbeck, as well as at 12 and 13 Mile and the Schoenherr area. 

In northern Michigan, the Mackinac Bridge Authority had issued a high wind warning for motorists planning to cross the span. It said the bridge deck was icy and urged motorists to exercise caution and, if crossing, reduce their speed to a maximum of 20 mph, turn on their vehicles' four-way flashers and drive in the outside lane. 

On this day in 2006, similar weather broke out across southeast Michigan. There were over 30 severe hail and wind/damage reports, according to the weather service, and 1-inch diameter hail in southern Genesee County piled up to several inches.

The winds and rain Thursday are part of a storm system that moved across the country with tornadoes and high winds. Two in Florida were killed, and dozens were injured across the Deep South.