Sandy's arms and wind reaching out to mid-Michigan

Oct 31, 2012

Update, October 31, 11:30 a.m.

Hurricane Sandy's winds have weakened but its effects linger.

About 40,000 of DTE's customers were without power Wednesday morning, the utility reports. The company expects to have power back to 90 percent of their customers by the end of the day.

CMS Energy says about 600 of its customers remain without power.

As many as 153,000 Michigan homes and businesses lost power as a result of the storm, MLive reports.

Tuesday, October 30, 1:00 p.m.

A wind advisory remains in effect until 1 p.m. Tuesday as Michigan continues to feel the force of "super storm" Sandy.

More than 79,000 homes and businesses were without power Tuesday morning as a result of high winds overnight. Wind gusts in the Thumb topped out at 74 mph, MLive reports.

The high winds are expected to continue through the afternoon as utilities struggle to return power to Michigan residents.

Take a look at Consumers Energy's and  DTE's outage maps to track power loss in your area.

At DTW, delays and cancelations persist despite Sandy's weakening. The hurricane has caused more than 15,000 cancelations nationwide since Saturday, reports Flightstats.com.

Monday, October 29, 2:30 p.m.

This afternoon, Michigan Radio’s Cyndy Canty got a chance to speak with Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground.

He has been tracking what some are calling “super storm” Sandy. He told Cyndy what impact the storm might have on Michigan.

“Super storm is an apt term,” Masters said.

The storm is unique in its thousand mile reach, as well as its northwesterly direction given the time of year.

In the case of Michigan, Sandy is expected to collide with a winter time low pressure system hanging over the state.

This combination is driving high winds in the region. Masters said Michigan residents can expect sustained winds of 30 mph with gusts as high as 45 mph.

The forecast doesn’t call for much rain, but we could see some “spitting” and “driving” precipitation.

Masters said there is a storm warning for most of the Great Lakes. That means sustained winds of 55 mph driving waves up to 20-25 feet in southern Lake Michigan.

Masters said this pounding could lead to beach erosion along the shores.

It is rare for Michigan to be affected by weather coming from the Atlantic Ocean, Masters said, but about once every three years the state does see nor’easters causing more wind as they move west.

But to be sure, this storm is in a class by itself said Masters.

“This is something we’ve never seen before,” he said.

He said Michigan residents should feel fortunate to live in a state that ranks amongst the lowest nationwide for number of natural disasters.

9:21 a.m.

Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall today and as the storm pushes inland, the effects are expected to felt in our area.

Google has this map showing real-time updates.

More from the Detroit Free Press:

Metro Detroit will feel the effects of Hurricane Sandy, with rain through Thursday and a wind advisory today and Tuesday.

Winds will be from the north, with sustained winds of 20 to 30 m.p.h. and gusts of 40 to 50 m.p.h., National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Considine said today from the White Lake Township office. The advisory begins at noon today and lasts through 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The high winds also mean a Gale Warning will be in effect for Lake St. Clair, with a more severe Storm Warning in effect for lakes Michigan and Huron, Considine said.

Waves could reach up to 30 feet on Lake Huron. On the other side of the state, Lake Michigan will feel the effects as well. From Chicago's WLS:

We're going to see waves that reach 20 feet. The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for Lake Michigan in Chicago in effect from 1 a.m. Tuesday through 4 p.m. Wednesday, but you will start seeing high winds by Monday night. The lakefront will most likely see waves from 16 to 22 feet high, and we will also see wind gusts at 60 miles per hour.

River observations & flooding forecast from NOAA.
River observations & flooding forecast from NOAA.
Credit River observations & flooding forecast from NOAA. / NOAA

Flooding will be a major concern as the storm brings heavy rains.

NOAA is posting river observations and flooding forecasts as Sandy comes inland.their flood map and information.

*An earlier version of this story was titled "Sandy's arms and rain reaching out to mid-Michigan." We changed it to better reflect Sandy's influence.