ROMEO (WWJ/AP) – As a strong spring storm swept across the state, the National Weather Service received reports of rotating winds in northern Macomb County.
Allen Beach was at home in the hardest hit area of Lapeer.
“And I can tell you, it’s hard to walk in that wind,” Beach told WWJ’s Sandra McNeil.
“I had an arm full of, you know, lawn stuff, and it looked like I was on cartoons — like the Flintstones — trying to run and going nowhere,” he said. “I was on wet grass, and I was just slipping; I was running in place. It was amazing. If that was 70 mile-an-hour winds, I believe it.”
At 5:30 p.m., DTE Energy was reporting around 22,000 homes and businesses without power in metro Detroit. The bulk of them were near Lapeer Road and I-69 in Lapeer County. About 2,000 customers lost power near Woodward and Maple roads in Birmingham.
Sirens sounded at least three times Macomb County, according to Vicki Wolber, the director of the Macomb County Emergency Management Department.
“We first got a notice from the National Weather Service around 4:30 this afternoon that we had a severe thunderstorm with winds at around 70 miles per hour — and that meets our criteria for activating the sirens,” Wolber told WWJ Newsradio 950.
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Wolber said they later got calls of severe weather in the Washington Township-Romeo area.
A caller to the WWJ Newsroom said she spotted what looked like a funnel cloud forming near her home in Romeo — but, as of late Monday afternoon — no tornado had been confirmed.
WWJ received reports of trees uprooted in Oakland Township and near Oxford as well as near Davison in Lapeer County. Neward Road was shut down between 24 Mile and Baldwin Road due to down trees and power lines.
Severe thunderstorm warnings in Lapeer, Macomb and Oakland counties have expired.
Meantime, on the west side of the state, National Weather Service reported winds gusting to 70 miles per hour, golf-ball size hail and a funnel cloud.
The weather service said a trained spotter reported a funnel cloud about 3 p.m. Monday at a spot 4 miles west-southwest of Saginaw. There have been no reports of a tornado touchdown.
Hail as large as 1.75 inches was reported 5 miles north-northwest of Montrose in the Flint area. The weather service also reported trees and wires down in Midland County.
CMS Energy Corp. said thousands of customers lost power.
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