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Flooding, power outages hit Michigan as storms rake Midwest

Recent heavy rains have closed area roads in Southwest Michigan including Holden Road at Shawnee Road in Bridgman, Mich., Wednesday Aug. 11, 2021. Photo.
Don Campbell
The Herald-Palladium via AP
Recent heavy rains have closed area roads in Southwest Michigan

Heavy rains brought flooding early Thursday, shutting down some freeways in the Detroit area, as waves of thunderstorms made their way across large swaths of the Midwest and left nearly 1 million homes and businesses without power in Michigan.

The storms come as dangerous heat persists in the Northwest, Northeast and the central portions of the country. Heat warnings and heat advisories were in effect for another day Thursday. Local officials opened cooling shelters for residents sweltering in the hot conditions.

Portions of interstates 94 and 696 were closed early Thursday in the Detroit area, along with a stretch of I-696 in Livingston County. The Detroit area has been hit by multiple rounds of flooding this summer.

Michigan utilities that had been working to restore power following earlier outages caused by high winds reported more than 970,000 outages in the state as of late Thursday morning following the overnight storms. Nearly 600,000 of those outages involved DTE Energy customers in southeastern Michigan.

The utility said that wind gusts stronger than 60 mph (96.6 kph) caused extensive tree damage, resulting in more than 3,000 downed power lines.

Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana also have been hit by recent rounds of storms. Utility poles were broken and transformers damaged in the Fort Wayne and South Bend areas of northwestern Indiana following Wednesday storms.

In Wisconsin, residents took cover Wednesday from a sixth straight day of severe thunderstorms, and at least two tornadoes touched in the west-central and northeast parts of the state. No reports of damage were immediately available.