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(June 13, 2022 11:18 AM) A portion of Southern Lower Michigan could see a swath of damaging winds resulting in fallen trees and scattered to numerous power outages Monday afternoon or evening. Fast moving storms are expected to cross Lake Michigan during this time.

Consumers Energy announced this morning they are preparing for damaging straight-line winds and severe thunderstorms that are expected to hit the lower regions of the lower peninsula starting Monday afternoon through late Monday night. Some of these storms may include heavy rain, hail and winds near 70 mph, resulting in power outages, downed wires and other safety hazards.

The National Weather Service says there is a potential of some significant severe weather later this afternoon and evening across southern lower Michigan. The main time of concern will be from 4 pm this afternoon until about 2 am Tuesday morning. Damaging winds of 60 mph will be the main threat, with some significant winds of over 75 mph possible. There are lower chances of hail and a tornado. There is a chance also that some localized flooding could occur where storms would train over the same area for longer periods.  If you are outdoors, have a plan to move to a sturdy shelter such as a permanent building if storms approach.

Heat indices will be up around 100 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon and evening. Tuesday night and Wednesday night will see temperatures stay quite warm, and will limit recovery from the heat for people that do not have air conditioning. This could be a bigger problem due to any widespread power outages that may occur from the storms tonight.   

The Consumers Energy Restoration Team has been monitoring this developing storm for several days and is ready to respond. Crews are preparing trucks and essential materials needed to assist with any restoration efforts.

After the storms, temperatures are expected to be extremely high. Customers can call 2-1-1 to connect with resources that offer assistance in their community, such as cooling centers or other needs. 2-1-1 is a free statewide service. There are also steps people can take to keep cool while reducing their energy usage, which can be found here: https://www.consumersenergy.com/outages/extreme-heat

Consumers Energy offers these preparation tips for potential severe weather:

·       Charge all electronic devices. It’s advised to have an emergency battery or charging station available for use during an outage.

·       Have an emergency kit that includes flashlights and extra batteries, water, canned food and blankets. Be prepared with enough medication, baby supplies and pet food if applicable. A battery-operated radio is also a good idea.

·       Unplug sensitive electronics like TVs, computers and printers. Turn power strips off.

Consumers Energy also urges the public to keep these important storm safety tips in mind:

·        Stay at least 25 feet away from downed wires, keep children or pets away, and report the issue by calling 9-1-1 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050. Consumers Energy crews are taking extra health and safety precautions because of the COVID-19 situation and asks the public to keep at least six feet of distance from its crews.

·        A portable generator should be placed at least 25 feet away from any doors, windows or fresh air intakes. Never operate a generator inside your home, garage, basement or enclosed area. Proper ventilation is critical.

  • Be alert to crews working along roads. Drivers should slow down or stop and wait for oncoming traffic to clear so they safely can go past workers on roadsides.
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