Michigan winds cause many to lose electrical service

Posted at 3:28 PM, Mar 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-08 15:28:46-05

3:10 p.m.

Strong winds have blown trees and limbs into utility lines, knocking out electrical service to about 9,000 homes and businesses in one area of southwestern Michigan.

Indiana Michigan Power says Wednesday that most of those customers are near Paw Paw, south of Grand Rapids. The utility says another 3,300 homes and businesses in the Fort Wayne, Indiana, area also are without power.

More than 140,000 Consumers Energy customers in Michigan have lost power and more outages are expected.

Consumers Energy says some who are in the worst-hit areas may not have power restored until Sunday.

The 55th District Court in Ingham County closed Wednesday afternoon due to a power outage.

Detroit officials also say the city's communications operations are receiving "an abnormally high volume" of 911 calls due to problems caused by the windy conditions.


12:35 p.m.

High winds are knocking down trees and power lines in parts of Michigan and fueling fires.

More than 300,000 utility customers were reported to be without power Wednesday, including at least 120,000 Consumers Energy customers and 180,000 DTE Energy customers.

The Times Herald of Port Huron reports a fire that started after power lines were downed by high winds spread in St. Clair County's Kimball Township, prompting the evacuation of nearby homes.

The National Weather Service says wind gusts are expected to exceed 60 miles per hour.

Jackson Fire Department Capt. Bob Walkowicz tells the Jackson Citizen Patriot a large tree fell onto a home, smashing the roof and breaking an underground gas line. Walkowicz says the homeowner wasn't injured.

Wind damage also was reported in the Bay City area.