Severe storms knock out power to 200,000 across Mid West State, USA
Storms with high winds, pounding rain and large hail uprooted trees, triggered tornado warnings and knocked out power to more than 200,000 customers across the state on Sunday.
The worst-hit area was southeast Michigan, with 180,000 DTE Energy customers affected. Officials were still assessing the damage Sunday night and unable to say when power might be restored.
“It’s more than likely that the number will go up,” said Scott Simons, a spokesman for DTE Energy.
Waves of storms began sweeping through southeast Michigan on Sunday afternoon and continued throughout the evening, knocking down tree branches, dropping golf-ball-sized hail on parts of Oakland County and prompting severe thunderstorm warnings. A wind gust of an estimated 70 m.p.h. was reported at 5:10 p.m. in Bloomfield Hills, said Sara Schultz, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in White Lake Township.
Areas of rotation spotted on radar prompted officials to issue tornado warnings in Bay and Tuscola counties, Schultz said, but no tornadoes were seen on the ground there.
The damage reported to the weather service included a three-foot diameter tree down on a house in Chelsea, trees uprooted in Harrison Township and windows broken on homes in a mobile home park in Milford.
In less than an hour, parts of Oakland County received between 1 inch and 1½ inches of rain, Schultz said.
“The biggest (hail) we’ve had is about golf-ball size. We’ve had multiple reports of that in Oakland County,” she said. Two-inch diameter hail was reported in Kalamazoo County.
In Royal Oak, a fire broke out at a house and a nearby garage on Brookwood, near 12 Mile and Rochester roads, after a tree fell and knocked two primary power lines onto a metal backyard fence. Both incidents are under investigation, but authorities believe the fence became electrically charged, which led to the fires, said Assistant Fire Chief Jim Cook. No one was in the home at the time. There were no injuries.
The majority of power outages are clustered near Highland Road from eastern Livingston through to Oakland County.
DTE Energy’s online outage map shows large swaths of outages around Highland Township, Pontiac, Waterford, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Sylvan Lake, Keego Harbor, White Lake Township, Troy, Madison Heights, Clinton Township, Sterling Heights and Harrison Township.
About 26,000 Consumers Energy customers were without power late Sunday. Spokesman Terry DeDoes said Genesee County had the highest number of outages, with more than 12,000.
Cooler temperatures are in store for metro Detroit on Monday, with highs in the low 70s.