The Latest: Crews Clearing Storm Debris In Western Michigan

Jul 7, 2017

The Latest on damaging storms in Michigan (all times local):

9:50 a.m.

Crews in western Michigan are working to remove downed trees and power lines that are blocking some roadways following severe thunderstorms.

Kent County Emergency Management says thousands of homes and businesses lost power in the county following the storms late Thursday and early Friday.

The Kent County Road Commission has additional crews working to remove trees from roads. People are being asked to avoid areas where crews are working.

Ottawa County, where a man was killed by a falling tree in Grand Haven, had power outages and damage. Beth Thomas, director of emergency management for Ottawa County, described the Crystal Lake area in Georgetown Township to MLive.com as “impassable.”

The Lansing area saw storm damage. And in southeastern Michigan, DTE Energy reports about 14,000 homes and businesses lost power.

6:50 a.m.

Authorities say a 72-year-old man has died after a tree fell on a home in western Michigan while severe thunderstorms moved across the state.

 

Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke tells WOOD-TV that the man died after the tree fell early Friday in Grand Haven, where winds around 90 mph were reported in the community along Lake Michigan. The Ottawa County sheriff’s department says a woman at the home escaped.

Hawke says the death is under investigation.

Tom Donahue, who lives nearby, tells WZZM-TV the storm was extremely loud as it moved through. He says “It sounded like a jet engine, a jet plane, was parked on my deck.”

The storms caused damage across Michigan, cutting out power to tens of thousands of customers as trees and power lines were knocked down.

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5:35 a.m.

Thunderstorms packing winds exceeding 60 mph caused damage across Michigan, knocking out power to tens of thousands of customers.

Trees and power lines were knocked down by the storms, which started Thursday night and continued Friday morning. Heavy rain and hail are reported in places. Consumers Energy says more than 130,000 homes and businesses it serves lost power.

The utility says restoration efforts are taking place and will likely continue through the weekend. It says the northeast and western portions of the state were hit hard.

The National Weather Service says winds up to 65 mph were reported in the Grand Rapids area. Some trees and large tree limbs were knocked down in suburban Detroit. DTE Energy reported scattered power outages in the Detroit area on Friday morning.