600,000+ In Region Without Power, Metro Airport Records 68 MPH Winds

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To state the obvious, it’s been windy here in Metro Detroit today. But just how windy has it been? And what are the impacts?

The National Weather Service has been recording 24-hour peak winds and as of a couple of hours ago, Detroit Metro Airport topped out the reports at a whopping 68 miles per hour. Readings in Pontiac, St. Clair Shores and City Airport hit 61 MPH as of 8:14 p.m.

“…The severity of the windstorm has exceeded all of our forecasts and it’s impacted over 600,000 of our DTE Energy customers,” said Trevor Lauer, president and chief operating officer of DTE Electric. “This is now the second largest weather event in the history of our company.”

More than 2,000 power lines are down in our region. According to DTE, they have 600 crews ready to start responding as the high winds subside as the winds also make the work dangerous for the repair crews.

In the city of Detroit, more than 70,000 people are without power. The Detroit Police Department has assigned extra patrol cars in every precinct to patrol areas without power and has extended shifts to provide extra coverage. The Detroit Fire Department has activated two additional fire companies to respond to calls for assistance.

In the meantime, DTE Energy has the following tips:

  • Never drive across a downed power line. If a power line falls on your vehicle, remain inside until help arrives.
  • Always operate generators outdoors to avoid dangerous buildup of toxic fumes.
  • Turn off or unplug all appliances to prevent an electrical overload when power is restored. Leave one light switch on to indicate when power is restored.
  • Don’t open refrigerators or freezers more than absolutely necessary. A closed refrigerator will stay cold for 12 hours. Kept closed, a well-filled freezer will preserve food for two days.

There is no exact estimate for return of service and as of this writing, and the online outage map is down. The low tonight is supposed to go down to about 30, with the high Thursday reaching 38.

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