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High Wind Warning: Mass Power Outages Predicted Sunday

February 23, 2019 - 5:11 pm
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DETROIT (WWJ) - As metro Detroit prepares to deal with the effects of a "bomb cyclone" on Sunday, officials are warning the storm could bring widespread power outages.

The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning for all of southeast Michigan, in effect from 7 a.m. Sunday until 4 a.m. Monday. The area is expected to see sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph. Brief intervals of gusts exceeding 60 mph will also be possible.

Forecasters say the highest gusts are most likely during the late morning to late afternoon -- and DTE Energy officials are predicting mass power outages. 

"It is very hard to predict exactly how many people are going to be effected," said DTE Storm Director Morgan Elliot Andahazy,  "However, based on historical trends of events that have occurred, we do believe that it is very likely that both power outages and downed wires will occur."

Andahazy said to stay at least 20 feet away from a downed power line and always assume it is live. If you happen to come across a downed line, dial 911 or contact DTE directly at 800-477-4747.

Due to the winter weather, officials suggest adding some extra items to your emergency preparedness kit including:  extra batteries, large flashlights/emergency lighting, food that does not require heat, and warm clothes and blankets.

To be prepared during a blackout:

  • Fill plastic containers with water and place them in the refrigerator and freezer. Cold water bottles will help keep food cold during a power outage and can also be used for drinking water.
  • Check with your physician or pharmacist about any medication that needs to be refrigerated. It is important to know how long medication is safe in the refrigerator without power.
  • Make a plan to prepare for family members with disabilities or who have ill health.
  • Try to keep gas tanks at least half full. If the power goes out, gas stations may be unavailable.
  • Have extra cash available. ATMs will not work without electricity.
  • Keep a key to the house with you when away from home. The garage will not open if the power is out.
  • If the power goes out, keep doors shut and never use the stove or charcoal as a source of heat. Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by not using grills, unvented gas or kerosene heaters, generators, or ovens and stoves in the house.
  • Do not call 9-1-1 to ask about the power outage. Listen to a battery powered radio for updates.

Here's a look at the forecast from the WWJ Weather Team:

Sunday -- Very windy; a couple of showers of rain or snow. High 48. Low 18.

Monday -- Mostly cloudy; windy. High 27. Low 12.

Tuesday -- Mostly cloudy; very cold. High 25. Low 18.

Wednesday -- Cloudy, a chance for a bit of snow or flurries; chilly. High 29. Low 16.

Thursday -- More sun than clouds; chilly. High 30. Low 15.

Know before you go: Keep it tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 for the latest forecast during traffic and weather, every 10 minutes on the 8s. >>LISTEN LIVE!