High winds slam Michigan communities along Lake Huron

Sandy's powerful winds felt in Michigan; thousands left without power along Lake Huron

By Roger Weber - Reporter


Hot wires touched off three fires in Port Huron, including a downtown law office building which was engulfed by flames Monday night.

Firefighters kept it from spreading to other buildings in spite of a 50-mph wind.

Read more: St. Clair County slammed by winds from Sandy

Trees were toppled, taking more power lines with them. About 15,000 St. Clair County residents lost electricity as the winds from Sandy slammed Michigan's coastal communities along Lake Huron. DTE Energy said 13,000 customers in St. Clair County were without power Tuesday afternoon. DTE expects 90 percent of those customers will get power back by Wednesday.

Tom and Susan Ingles lost power at the peak of the storm about 1 a.m. Tuesday.

"The dog would bark every time a branch would hit the house because they were just blasting us," said Tom Ingles.

Many businesses in the area have closed. Traffic has been snarled as signals have stayed dark. Drivers, once they left their cars, struggled to walk in the high winds.

Richard Ruelle, of Fort Gratiot, has lived along the lake for 48 years. He can't recall a worse such storm.

"There is no comparison. This is the worst we have ever seen," he said.

The U.S. Coast Guard said waves along Lake Huron reached up to 24 feet. However, thanks to low lake levels, flooding has not been a problem in most areas.

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