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Winds cause damage

Gusts up to 60 mph force power outages, school closings in region

October 27, 2010
By JOHANNA BOYLE Journal Ishpeming Bureau

MARQUETTE - With a high wind warning still out for the entire Upper Peninsula until 8 p.m. today, area residents have spent much of the past couple of days dealing with everything from rattling windows to fallen trees to power outages.

"This storm is actually stronger than the one that sank the Edmund Fitzgerald," said Justin Titus, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Negaunee Township.

The high wind gusts of 50-60 mph and sustained winds of 25-35 mph are resulting from a record-breaking low pressure system near International Falls, Minn. The NWS reported a record rainfall of .83 inches for Oct. 26, almost doubling the previous record of .43 inches set in 2001.

Article Photos

Ishpeming resident Richard Kallioinen looks at the tree that fell onto his New York Street home Tuesday. More than 2,000 Ishpeming UPPCO customers were without power this morning due to the high winds. (Journal photo by Johanna Boyle)

What has been causing problems for the area, however, is the wind.

This morning, the Upper Peninsula Power Co. was reporting 2,155 customers without power in Ishpeming, 3,013 in Houghton, 583 in Escanaba, 617 in Munising and 31 in Iron River, with no estimated time for restoring power.

The Marquette Board of Light and Power is also dealing with power outages today, with one large outage in the Shiras Hills neighborhood in Marquette, as well as outages in areas outside the city such as Negaunee Township and Skandia.

"We've been fighting it for about 24 hours now," said David Lynch, superintendent of distribution for the BLP.

Two crews had been working for 12 hours on the Shiras Hills outage.

Complicating the power restoration effort is the continued high wind, flying debris and falling trees. UPPCO and the BLP advised caution around down power lines and to be aware of emergency personnel who are working to repair lines.

The NWS is also advising caution. Besides staying away from down power lines and preparing for power outages, Titus also cautioned people to stay away from Lake Superior.

"You'll get pulled out into the lake pretty quickly if you fall in because of the wind off the land," he said.

Marquette city police were called to warn people off the Upper Harbor breakwater Tuesday afternoon where the winds had pushed up high waves over the barrier.

Classes were canceled today in the Republic-Michigamme and Tahquamenon Area school districts, with delays reported for some other areas.

Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her e-mail address is jboyle@miningjournal.net.

 
 

 

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