DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Thousands of homes and businesses lost power and hundreds of schools were closed for the day because of a storm packing snow, sleet and rain that hit the state.
At 4 p.m., DTE Energy was still working to restore service to about 30,000 Southeast Michigan homes and businesses. About 23,000 of those outages were in Washtenaw County, with the rest scattered across the area.
Said DTE Energy spokesman Alejandro Bodipo-Memba, “One of the reasons we’ve had such a big number is there are a number of wires down as a result of the freezing rain and having wires hit by falling trees and branches.”
Bodipo-Memba said all available DTE crews were working 16-hour shifts around the clock to restore service
The storm has also left power lines sagging across 13 Mile Road at Drake, closing the intersection.
Meantime, Consumers Energy reported about 10,600 of its customers are without power early Wednesday afternoon. The subsidiary of Jackson-based CMS Energy Corp. says those outages include about 2,624 customers in Jackson County and 2,086 in Calhoun County.
Numerous schools were closed Wednesday in southeast Michigan.
That includes in the Detroit Public Schools, the state’s largest district. School districts in Livingston, Washtenaw and St. Clair counties closed their doors, as have some Michigan colleges and universities. Some school closings also are reported in parts of West Michigan and dozens of schools closed in the area of Saginaw, Bay and Midland counties.
WWJ AccuWeather Meteorologist Dean Devore said with temperatures above freezing at morning drive time, the morning commute wasn’t too bad.
Metro Detroit was expected to see a lull in the winter weather, with some rain maybe mixed with a little bit of snow throughout the day — but we’re not of the woods yet. ”The bulk of it has moved up to the north and the west of us … not much additional accumulation today, but tonight I’m worried about some slick with more snow showers,” Devore said.
Devore said, as the temperature drops to around 30 degrees Wednesday evening, the wet roads could be come slick and treacherous.
The National Weather Service said, as of Wednesday morning, 6 inches fell in the Grand Haven and Muskegon areas, while 5 inches fell between Lansing and Jackson. Four to 5 inches fell in Grand Rapids. Four inches fell in some Detroit suburbs and Saginaw. The highest accumulations, totaling 5 to 8 inches, hit the rural Thumb region, surrounded on three sides by Lake Huron.
A winter weather advisory, set to expire at noon, expired early.
Here’s the forecast from the CBS Detroit Weather Team:
Wednesday – Overcast with snow and rain, then a chance of more snow and rain showers in the afternoon. Winds from the ENE at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 80 percent with accumulations up to 1 in. possible. High 37, low 30 with a windchill as low as 19.
Thursday — Overcast and breezy. Winds from the North at 15 to 20 mph. High 36, low 27 with a windchill as low as 18.
Friday — Mostly cloudy with flurries possible. High 30, low 14 with a windchill as low as 2.
Saturday —Mostly cloudy. High 27, low 10 with a windchill as low as 1.
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