High winds could cause power outages in Michigan this weekend

High winds could cause toppled trees and power outages in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula starting Saturday morning, meteorologists and Consumers Energy warned.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory in effect from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. The alert covered a wide swath of central and southeast Michigan, including Midland, Flint, Owosso, Ann Arbor, Detroit and Lapeer.

Southerly winds between 20 and 30 mph and gusts of up to 50 mph will sweep through the region on Saturday. The winds could be fast enough to blow around unsecured objects, down tree branches and cause power outages, meteorologists said.

“Use extra caution when driving, especially if you are driving a premium vehicle,” the alert reads. “Secure outdoor objects.”

Winds could blow up to 55 mph in southwest Michigan, National Weather Service meteorologists in Grand Rapids said. They also predicted that the blows could knock branches off trees and cause blackouts.

The weather could also create hazardous conditions on Lake Michigan conditions near Muskegon. Gales are likely on Saturday, meteorologists said.

“This will create very dangerous conditions for boaters and for people on the docks,” they said.

Consumers Energy told customers it was preparing for the winds and storms expected this weekend. The utility company warned that power outages could occur along Lake Michigan, in Grand Rapids and in southwestern Michigan.

“The Consumer Energy Restoration Team has been monitoring this developing storm since the beginning of this week and is ready to respond,” the utility said in a news release. “Crews are being staged in areas where we expect the greatest damage and are preparing the trucks and materials needed to assist with any restoration effort.”

Consumers recommend that customers charge electronic devices, have batteries or emergency charging stations available, and have an emergency kit with flashlights, batteries, water, food canned food, blankets and a battery operated radio.

The utility recommended unplugging sensitive electronics like televisions, computers, and printers and turning off power strips.

Saturday’s forecast also calls for rain showers in southeast Michigan, with highs above the 70s.

Sunday is expected to be mostly sunny with highs in the mid-60s, according to the National Weather Service.

The region experienced unusually hot weather for much of the week. Detroit Metropolitan Airport hit 74 on Friday, 20 degrees above average for the date and close to the record high of 77 set in 2015, NWS data showed.

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