Video shows power line showering sparks, burning during thunderstorms in Washtenaw County

WASHTENAW COUNTY, MI - As powerful thunderstorms rolled across Michigan Thursday night, Aug. 24, the fireworks they brought with them was more than just lightning.

It was around 10 p.m. when Alex Stacy heard some loud popping noises outside his home in Manchester, about 20 miles southwest of Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County. He looked out his window to see the power lines burning deep orange.

“I was watching the storm just rolling in and then all of the sudden the lines to the left of my house — I’ve seen a tree this morning had come down, a huge branch, and ripped the lines to the ground. And then it started that chain reaction was that was kind of moving across,” he said.

A video he took captures the lines casting showers of sparks toward the ground as small explosions pop one-by-one along the line.

While he had lost power on and off before that point, Stacy said he still had electricity after the explosion. The storm left some 28,000 people in Washtenaw County without power on Friday morning and more than 400,000 across Michigan.

As of Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service offices in Detroit and Grand Rapids had confirmed three separate tornadoes, ranging from the Grand Rapids area to Livingston County to Canton in Wayne County.

Read more: ‘All of our trees just hit the ground,’ couple says of riding out suspected tornado

In situations like the one Stacy observed, utility companies advise residents to stay away from any downed wires and report them.

By the time he left for work on Friday morning, Consumers Energy crews were already walking the lines to see what had been brought down during the storm, Stacy said.

More from The Ann Arbor News:

Police release surveillance video of Ann Arbor hate graffiti suspects

Thunderstorms go cow tipping at iconic Michigan meat market

Parts of Washtenaw County get almost 5 inches of rain in 3 hours during 500-year storm

Former Ann Arbor priest pleads guilty to sexually assaulting altar boy

If you purchase a product or register for an account through one of the links on our site, we may receive compensation. By browsing this site, we may share your information with our social media partners in accordance with our Privacy Policy.