High winds cause power outages

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The utility has been working around the clock to help restore more than 319,000 customers without power during two days of high winds across the state.

On Wednesday, they had 170 Consumers Energy crews out, 86 contracted power crews out, and are bringing more in as soon as possible.

Major local power suppliers DTE Energy and Consumers Energy reported extensive power outage until Wednesday afternoon, with DTE Energy saying more than 400,000 of its customers in Metro Detroit lost power by mid-Wednesday afternoon as well as another 1940,000 customers of Consumers Energy.

"We're having the most severe high wind event I can remember in my 50 years in MI today, with sustained winds of 40-plus miles per hour at multiple locations, and some gusts over 60 miles per hour", said Jeff Masters, director of meteorology for wunderground.com. More than 1,000 poles also were broken by the wind, Consumers said.

"Every part of the state was affected by this", he said, adding that residents should continue to be wary of downed power lines and seek safe shelter over the weekend if their power hasn't yet been restored.

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If you see downed power lines, stay away from them and call 911. "You can report a downed power line through the DTE Energy Mobile app or by calling 800.477.4747".

"Our estimated time to get all those customers restored will be into late Sunday for the hardest hit areas", he said. DTE advised MI residents to use extreme caution if they come into contact with a downed line. DTE encourages customers to use the website at dteenergy.com as well.

Almost one hundred thousand people lost power in the Rochester area. Operating a generator without proper ventilation can create carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and deadly gas.

Harper Creek Community Schools closed Wattles Park Elementary School at 12:30 p.m., also due to an outage, according to the school's Facebook page.

Here are some safety tips for dealing with power outages.

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