Severe storms sweeping through Michigan knocked out power lines, leaving more than 400,000 homes and business without power across the state Friday night.
Alejandro Bodiop-Memba, spokesman for DTE Energy Co. (NYSE:DTE), one of the largest energy suppliers in the state, said about 350,000 customers were left without electricity as of 11 p.m. and the number of people affected is expected to rise through the night, according to a USA Today report
More than 1,000 power lines were cut by strong gusts in areas where DTE provides electricity. The company said people could be left without power for many days, given the widespread damage.
As heavy rain and strong winds of up to 70 mph lash the state, service crews assessing damage could not say how long it would take to restore electricity.
Deb Dodd, spokeswoman for Consumers Energy, said Kalamazoo County in western Michigan was the hardest hit in the company's coverage area. More than 28,000 customers were left without power, and Dodd said workers were finding dozens of trees and poles knocked over by the storm.
"We have hundreds of downed power lines," Dodd said. "One thing we're asking people to do is to stay at least 25 feet away from anything that looks downed."
Trevor Head, a police officer in the Detroit suburb of Clair Shores, said the department has been receiving calls "nonstop" to report damage and confirmed several reports of downed power lines and trees as well as burnt-out transformers.
"It wasn't so much the rain causing issues, as it was the wind," he said.
The Lansing Board of Water & Light in the capital of Michigan reported that more than 2,300 of its customers were left without power.
"This is probably the worst storm we've seen in several decades," Eaton Rapids City Manager Jon Stoppels said.
Residents were asked by authorities to stay off the roads to prevent emergency crews being hampered by traffic and gawkers.
The National Weather Service warned that more storms could hit the area overnight.