Severe storms exit Michigan, leaving thousands in dark, some freeway flooding

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

After strong storms Tuesday brought hail and high winds to Metro Detroit, leaving thousands of power outages, clearer weather is ahead, the National Weather Service said.

A severe thunderstorm warning for Wayne County and southern Macomb County  was canceled before its 9:30 p.m. expiration, the weather service said. A severe thunderstorm watch for southeast Michigan has also ended.

"The storms which prompted the warning have moved out of the area," officials wrote.

Heavy rain seen at Detroit's Comerica Park during a rain delay Sept. 14.

After the cold front moved through the region, "the severe threat is done for the night," said Kevin Kacan, a meteorologist with the weather service station in White Lake Township.

The weather service had warned people at the Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre, Fox Theatre, Comerica Park, Little Caesars Arena and the Garden Party on Belle Isle to seek safe shelter as the latest round of storms arrived by 9 p.m.

NWS reported wind gusts near 50 mph at Detroit Metro Airport and Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

DTE Energy reported more than 20,000 customers without electricity in the area early Wednesday, down from a high of nearly 39,000 earlier, with large clusters near Ypsilanti, Dearborn, Canton Township, Sterling Heights, Southfield and Farmington Hills.

Consumers Energy reported nearly 4,000 customers without power statewide at 6:30 Wednesday.

The Michigan Department of Transportation reported flooding late Tuesday on the right westbound lane of Interstate 94 near Lonyo and on the eastbound side after M-10 following the storms in Wayne County. 

Traffic was moving freely early Wednesday.

In the first band of storms that pushed through by 6 p.m., the weather service reported 60 mph wind gusts and penny-size hail in Berkley, downed lines in Lenawee and Macomb counties as well as snapped tree limbs in Livingston and Huron counties.

Trees and electrical wires were reported down in South Rockwood in Wayne County as well as Lambertville in Monroe County, the weather service reported.

The weather service website reported a partial building collapse in Clinton Township before 5 p.m. Macomb County sheriff's officials said bricks had fallen off a business in that community. No injuries were reported.

The turbulent weather is fueled by summer-like warmth. 

Temperatures Tuesday climbed into the upper 80s, more than 10 degrees above normal for the date, weather service records show. 

Calmer, cooler conditions are forecast for Wednesday and Thursday. Highs both days should reach the upper 70s under sunny skies, the weather service said.

Heat is expected to return Friday and Saturday, when the mercury could rise into the mid 80s.