| The Detroit News
About 144,665 homes in lower Michigan are without power Sunday afternoon after high winds blew down trees, limbs and power lines.
The National Weather Service has issued high wind warnings until 7 p.m. Sunday in Michigan’s lower peninsula. Southwest to west winds blowing 25 to 30 mph and wind gusts up to 60 mph are forecast.
As of Sunday afternoon, DTE Energy reported 108,755 people with power outages and Consumers Energy reported 802 power outages with 35,910 customers affected. Many Southeast Michigan communities are affected but those with the most outages include Hadley in Lapeer County, Bell Oak and Williamstown Township in Ingham County, and Four Towns in Oakland County.
“We have a really strong low pressure system that’s moving through the northern Great Lakes. That’s what’s going to be causing the really strong winds,” said Ian Lee, meteorologists for the National Weather Service. “During the fall and winter months, to get winds this strong usually only happens maybe once or twice a season.”
On Michigan’s first day of open season for deer hunting, the weather service advises people to avoid being outside in forested areas and around trees and branches, due to strong winds that could knock trees down.
People are also advised to remain in the lower levels of their home during the windstorm, to avoid windows and to use caution while driving especially with large vehicles such as semi trucks.
“Just make sure that you secure loose outdoor objects. If you’re driving, especially high profile vehicles, you’re going to have a hard time driving this afternoon with high winds,” Lee said.
The counties included in the high wind warning include Midland, Bay, Saginaw, Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair, Livingston, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Wayne, Lenawee, and Monroe counites.
Scattered, heavy showers and isolated thunderstorms are also expected from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.