Almost 28K without power in Washtenaw County after storms sweep through area

WASHTENAW COUNTY, MI - At least 27,800 electric customers are in the dark Friday morning, Aug. 25, as scattered power outages covered the area following a round of thunderstorms on Thursday night.

As of 8 a.m., some 23,800 DTE Energy customers in the county didn’t have power, about 14% of those who depend on the utility for electricity in the county, according to a DTE outage map. Meanwhile in western Washtenaw County, about 4,000 Consumers Energy customers lacked power on Friday morning, some 64% of the utility’s customer base in the county, the company’s outage map shows.

In Ann Arbor-area ZIP codes, about 11,800 customers were without power Friday morning, per the DTE map. The utility says on its website it estimates 80% of customers affected by the storm will have power restored on Saturday, with all outages over by the end of Sunday.

The National Weather Service issued severe thunderstorm warnings for the area that lasted until just after 11 p.m. Thursday night, warning of wind gusts up to 70 mph.

Across Michigan, explosive wind gusts and powerful storms were linked to at least five deaths as of Friday morning, many related to traffic crashes or trees falling on homes, MLive reported.

Read more: 5 dead, several injured, widespread damage after storms tear across Michigan

Washtenaw County appeared to be spared major damage, other than multiple power lines and tree branches felled by the storms. One tree hit a home’s porch in Chelsea, but did not cause injuries, officials said.

Fire departments and first responders in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township, Chelsea, Dexter, Scio Township and Ann Arbor Township reported no serious injuries Friday morning.

Washtenaw County Road Commission crews were out addressing downed trees and some flooding across the county, and there wasn’t one particular area that was particularly hard hit, said spokesperson Tiffany Oliphant.

“We’re taking care of the county, like we always would,” she said.

The only road closure Oliphant reported is on Tyler Road in Ypsilanti Township near the Willow Run Airport, where a section of roadway between McGregor Road and Airport Drive was washed out by rainfall this week.

Ann Arbor police said Friday morning Geddes Road was closed at High Orchard Drive because of downed trees and wires. Traffic lights were also out along Plymouth Road from Green Road to Murfin Avenue, and should be treated as four-way stops, officials said.

The storms capped a tumultuous period of severe weather in the area.

Less than 24 hours earlier, some parts of eastern Washtenaw County received nearly five inches of rain in a roughly three-hour period, a deluge qualifying as an extremely rare “500-year” storm, according to county officials.

Read more Michigan weather stories here.

MLive reporter Sam Dodge contributed reporting to this story.

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