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Heavy Rains Flood Area Freeways, Causing Power Outages, Damage [PHOTOS]

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DETROIT (WWJ) – Flooding, high winds, lightening, power outages, downed wires and trees were reported in metro Detroit, as strong storms blew across the region.

A massive 50-year-old silver maple tree  fell in front of Ann Zaborney’s Livonia home on West Chicago, near Inkster Road.

She was doing yard work at the time with her significant other, Mary Kline.

“She said get away from the tree … because I had just mowed, and it went over,” Zaborney said of the half-century old maple, “and I was like ‘oh no.'”

The root ball of the maple standing some 12 feet tall but now laying on its edge.

The storms knocked out power to 150,000 DTE Energy customers in metro Detroit and about 120,000 were still without power at the close of the day according to DTE Energy Spokesperson Erica Donerson.

Donerson says Oakland and Wayne counties were the hardest hit … when winds gusted up to 60 mph.

“DTE Energy crews are out accessing the damage and where it is safe to begin the restoration efforts and they are doing the work that needs to be done,” said Donerson.

She says they don’t yet know how long it will take to get everyone back on the grid but crews are working longer shifts to get customers back on line.

To report downed lines or a power outage to DTE, call 800-477-4747.  You can make a report online or check the DTE outage map, HERE.

Lightning strikes caused damage in several areas; two apartment units at the Taylor Woods Apartment complex in Taylor on Beech Daly and Goddard.

“On the second floor on at least two of the units … there’s a hole burned through the roof, you can see daylight and the sky above,” said Gary Krupczak with the American Red Cross.

He says there are about 20 people displaced by the fire. The Red Cross is helping the residents with temporary housing, as well as food and clothing. Fire officials say there were no injuries.

In Inkster firefighters worked to control a fire ignited by a power line hit by lightning.

“Powerline came down, melted the garage in about 30 minutes – burned it to the ground,” said Phil Hayes.

Hayes, whose mother owns the home, applauds the firefighters.

“The Inkster firefighters did a real good job of keeping the water on the houses .. they saved both the houses,” he said.

There were no injuries.

Local roads and freeways were in bad shape smack in the middle of the afternoon commute, according to WWJ Traffic Reporter Kevin Sanderson.

Westbound I-95 at I-75 was closed to traffic at 6 p.m. but re-opened by night fall.

“Lots of flooding, downed wires, downed trees, traffic lights out — it’s a mess,” Sanderson said.

Flooding was reported along I-75 in both directions at I-94 with the southbound side “especially bad,” Sanderson said. That’s where a jackknife semi was caught in flood waters there.

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