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Thunderstorms, high winds leave thousands without power

Jul 7, 2017

Thunderstorms packing winds exceeding 60 mph caused damage across Michigan, knocking out power to tens of thousands of customers.

Trees and power lines were knocked down by the storms, which started Thursday night and continued Friday morning. Heavy rain and hail were reported in places. Consumers Energy says more than 130,000 homes and businesses it serves lost power.

Authorities say a 72-year-old man has died after a tree fell on a home in western Michigan while severe thunderstorms moved across the state.

Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke tells WOOD-TV that the man died after the tree fell early Friday in Grand Haven, where winds around 90 mph were reported in the community along Lake Michigan. The Ottawa County sheriff's department says a woman at the home escaped. Hawke says the death is under investigation.

Tom Donahue, who lives nearby, tells WZZM-TV the storm was extremely loud as it moved through. He said, "It sounded like a jet engine, a jet plane, was parked on my deck."

Thousands across the state lost power. Consumers Energy says restoration efforts are taking place and will likely continue through the weekend. It says the northeast and western portions of the state were hit hard.

The National Weather Service says winds up to 65 mph were reported in the Grand Rapids area. Some trees and large tree limbs were knocked down in suburban Detroit. DTE Energy reported scattered power outages in the Detroit area on Friday morning.

You can see the Consumers Energy outage map here and the DTE Energy outage map here.