Open in App
WWJ News Radio

Over 150K lose power as severe thunderstorms strike SE Michigan with winds of up to 80 mph bringing down trees, power lines

By Kyle BeeryCassandra Llamas Fossen,


DETROIT (WWJ) - A powerful line of storms moved across the southern regions of Michigan's Lower Peninsula on Wednesday, leaving more than 100,000 people without power in Metro Detroit.

A second line of storms made its way across the area later Wednesday night, though no watches or warnings were given for Metro Detroit.

The storms apparently knocked out power to the Grosse Pointe Pump Station, and city officials were telling residents to remove valuables form their basements.

The Ann Arbor area reportedly saw winds reach 80 mph, bringing down tree branches and power lines. The NWS reported a large tree had come down on a house and trapped a person inside.

Ann Arbor police officials said a power line had come down in the Huron River between the Ann Arbor Nature Center and Gallup Park.

DTE Energy was reporting more than 130,000 customers without power across all of Southeast Michigan, as of 7:45 p.m., with a large number of people in the dark in Washtenaw County. CHECK THE DTE OUTAGE MAP

Elsewhere in the state, more than 33,000 Consumers Energy customers were out of power.

WWJ's Pat Vitale reported seeing the storm roll in "very quickly" on her way to the airport.

"All of the sudden as I hit the roads those winds really picked up," she said. "And just on 8 Mile alone I'm seeing some tree branches in the middle of the roadway, even some garbage cans seen blown around."

The rain was coming down in sheets and blowing sideways in Southfield around 3:30 p.m., while some areas have been seeing ponding on the roadways.

A trampoline was seen overturned in Livonia near Farmington and 6 Mile Roads.
Photo credit Scarlett Webster

The southeastern part of Ingham County -- including Stockbridge and Dansville -- was under a Tornado Warning until 3 p.m., but it was not clear whether any tornadoes or funnel clouds were spotted.

The latest dose of bad weather led to the postponement of multiple events across Metro Detroit, including the Detroit Tigers' game against the Angels . The teams will play a straight doubleheader Thursday.

Meanwhile, city officials in Birmingham say the "In the Park Summer Concert" featuring a ZZ Top Tribute Band scheduled for Wednesday night, will now be held August 23rd in Shain Park.

"We are very concerned about this line of thunderstorms we expect to cross the area at some point later on this afternoon into the first part of tonight," AccuWeather Meteorologist Dean DeVore told WWJ's Jackie Paige earlier in the day before the storms struck. "You hear the term derecho thrown around and this is something that could qualify as one."

According to the NWS, a derecho is a "widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms."

Experts say that while derechos can cause extensive damage similar to that of tornadoes, the destruction is centered in one direction along a relatively straight path and the term "straight-line wind damage" is often used to describe the aftermath of such storms.

The NWS says that a storm is classified as a derecho when it meets the following criteria:

• Wind damage swath extends more than 240 miles (about 400 kilometers)
• Wind gusts of at least 58 mph (93 km/h) or greater along most of its length

DeVore said the line of storms could produce straight-line winds at speeds up to 90 to 100 mph.

"We are watching the potential for a very dangerous set up," he warned.

Temperatures climbed to nearly 90 degrees on Wednesday, fueling the line of storms before dropping into the 70s after they passed through.

"Then we're back to 91 or so," DeVore said.

Michigan will at least see a break in thunderstorms after Wednesday, but it's the heat that will take over for the rest of the week.

While Detroit won't see the soaring 126 degrees heat recorded in Death Valley -- a few degrees shy of the daily record -- at least 45 states and over 100 million Americans will bake in high temperatures of 90 degrees or higher.

Ann Arbor to Saginaw to Monroe to Detroit will all experience hot and muggy conditions with heat index values approaching 100 degrees on Thursday and Friday.

According to AccuWeather, this week will see the highest temperatures so far this summer in Detroit.

Experts are advising residents to stay in air-conditioned environment when possible in addition to "limiting vigorous physical activity during the peak of the heat during the midday and afternoon and increase the intake of non-alcoholic fluids to reduce the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke ."

DeVore said relief is coming, as the area will cool down for the weekend with temperatures falling "back in the low to mid 80s with a couple of showers Saturday and close to 80 with beautiful weather ahead."

The NWS advised all residents be aware and ready to act during Wednesday's severe weather threat.

"Have multiple ways to receive warning information!" experts advised.

State officials with MIREADY advise the following actions to better prepare yourself and your family ahead of severe storm activity:

• Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall on your home with strong winds.
• Postpone outdoor activities until the storm has passed.
• Secure outdoor objects that could be blown around, such as garbage cans and patio furniture.
• Close all windows and blinds.
• Charge cell phones and other wireless communication devices.
• Sign up to receive text or e-mail alerts from your local media, weather provider or the National Weather Service.
• Plan a way to monitor local weather and news while in shelter.
• Identify the safest shelter location in your home; it should be on the lowest level, away from windows and doors.
• Prepare for a power outage.

Stay tuned to the latest weather updates with WWJ Traffic and Weather on the :08s by listening LIVE.

Expand All
Comments / 0
Add a Comment
Local Detroit, MI newsLocal Detroit, MI
Most Popular newsMost Popular

Comments / 0