Shebly, Utica, Macomb
■ FIERCE WINDS. Wednesday’s strong winds in the metro Detroit area caused record power outages and prompted school districts and businesses to close Thursday. Utica Community Schools were closed for the day and downtown Rochester was dark.
About 630,000 people were without power Thursday afternoon according to DTE Energy president Trevor Laurer. He said they anticipate 90% of people will have power restored by Sunday and called it one of the largest weather events in DTE history at a press conference Wednesday.
Shelby and Utica police departments were busy directing traffic around downed power lines and fallen trees, and fire departments were on alert responding to emergencies. Traffic lights at major intersections were down, and the intersection of Hall and Hayes was closed due to a swaying main power pole, which eventually fell.
“We are so proud of the job our Dispatchers did yesterday during one of the worst windstorms on record,” read a statement on the Macomb County Sheriff Office’s Facebook page. “The call volume yesterday was massive, yet they persevered and kept the citizens of Macomb County safe. Our Dispatchers make a difference and we greatly appreciate their professionalism and dedication.” In total, dispatchers handled over 2,000 calls Wednesday.