Winds wreak havoc Downriver

Photo by Angela Nims High winds uprooted this tree inside The Ponds Apartments, 15111 Pond Village Drive, Wednesday afternoon. The winds also stripped many area residents of power.

Photo by Angela Nims
High winds uprooted this tree inside The Ponds Apartments, 15111 Pond Village Drive, Wednesday afternoon. The winds also stripped many area residents of power.

By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers

Keith Hoak was housesitting for his friend Wednesday in Taylor when winds, sometimes reaching 60 mph, blew in.

“I had let my friend’s 3-pound dog, Tundra, outside about 1 p.m.,” Hoak said. “When I went to let her in, she was fighting against being blown away. She was walking like a drunk dog. The wind was tossing her around and I had to go and get her.”

Hoak said it was minutes later the power went out. He said one of the reasons he agreed to house set for the use of his friend’s 52-inch television.

In addition to knocking out power lines in the Downriver area, the winds are to blame for blowing over several trees and sending trash cans and lawn items into other yards.

“I had to chase down my pink flamingo,” Southgate resident Amanda Frazier said of her lawn ornament.

Frazier likened the event to being in Key West, Fla., during hurricane winds a few years ago.

While the winds let up Wednesday evening, most of the power isn’t expected to be fully restored until Sunday.

Frazier said Thursday she fears the negative impact the power loss will have, with temperatures expected to range from the teens to about 30 degrees.

DTE Energy President Trevor Lauer said during a press conference Thursday that an estimated 665,000 in Michigan are still without power, down from about 800,000 originally. Lauer expects 90 percent of those without power to be restored by Sunday.

Lauer said crews, which include linemen from five other states, are working 16-hour shifts to restore power.

He said it would take multiple days just due to the “sheer size” of the event. He said DTE is happy no one was injured in the high winds, especially noting that there were 4,000 to 5,000 lines blown down throughout the state.

(Tereasa Nims can be reached at dstreporter@gmail.com.)