As high winds pick up in southeast Michigan due to the reach of Hurricane Sandy, downgraded to tropical storm status Monday, so will the likelihood for power outages and other wind-related issues.
The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory Monday morning for all of southern Michigan, including Midland, Bay, Lenawee, Saginaw, Tuscola, Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. The advisory remains in effect until 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Winds are expected to reach speeds of up to 47 miles per hour in Macomb Township, and could cause hazardous situations—including power outages, downed tree branches, and difficulty driving, especially on east-west roads.
DTE Energy spokesman John Austerberry said that the Michigan-based gas and electric company has not seen any big outages yet, but that they're anticipating them.
"We haven't seen any significant outages so far, but our meteorologist is predicting wind gusts as high as 50 miles per hour," Austerberry said. "There is the likelihood that we will see some power outages as the wind starts to approach that level."
The most common cause of wind-related outages, he added, was downed tree limbs.
DTE has released around 100 contract line crews to assist with expected major outages on the east coast as Sandy hits. However, DTE's own crews will be staying in Michigan.
"We have not sent any of our own crews because we want to see what happens with the weather here," Austerberry said.
To prepare for high winds, Michigan residents are encouraged to use precaution while driving—especially high-profile vehicles. Additionally, residents are encouraged to move trash cans, lawn furniture, Halloween decorations and other outdoor items into their garage or home.
The National Weather Service is also reporting a 90 percent chance of rain in Macomb Township Tuesday, but has not issued a flood advisory.
Should you lose power, here's what you'll want to know about the expiration time on food in your fridge.
Stay with Patch as we continue to monitor Hurricane Sandy's impact on Michigan weather.