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‘It’s just kind of booming’: High winds cause rough waves, widespread outages

Over 150,000 without power due to windstorm
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Posted at 7:31 PM, Dec 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-16 19:55:44-05

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Right after Michigan football beat Ohio State on Nov. 27, Dave Senesac put up his Michigan flag outside his home. However, with all the heavy wind lately, it’s been flapping so hard he had to take it down, he said.

It was keeping him up at night.

“It sounds like freight train, especially at night. You can really hear the waves,” Senesac said during an interview with FOX 17 on Thursday, about a quarter mile away from Lake Michigan. “It’s just kind of booming; you can hear it right now.”

According to the National Weather Service, winds in the Muskegon area, and across the lakeshore, were gale like, reaching 60 mph. It caused thousands of people to lose power.

“A lot of roof tiles off. Some siding. Trees on houses,” said local insurance agent Felicia Bright about what she’s been hearing. “That kind of thing.”

Bright works in claims and said she’s been busy all day taking dozens of phone calls.

“It’s a challenging day. There have been a number of outages. But I will offer that we know how frustrating and disrupting power outages can be,” said Consumers Energy spokesman Joshua Paciorek during a Zoom interview. “But our crews, they’re ready to begin restoration efforts. Right now the focus is on assessing the damage so we have a full picture of what we’re dealing with, as well as securing downed wires so that we can keep our communities safe.”

READ MORE: Power outages reported across West Michigan due to high winds

Paciorek said 300 crews have been working nonstop, up and down the lakeshore, helping thousands of residents get their power back.

“So far we’re seeing a number of broken poles, a number of broken trees, a number of broken limbs,” Paciorek continued. “The No. 1 cause for power outages is trees coming into contact with our wires. Trees tend to come into contact with our wires if there are high winds like we experienced this morning.”

Paciorek said if people see downed power lines to stay 25 feet away from them and to let Consumers know where it's located.

He said people should be fully restored to power by Saturday. In the meantime, over the next few days Consumers may host community events and give away grocery store gift cards as a thank you for residents' patience.

As for Bright, she, like several other people, drove to the lake and watched the waves from her vehicle. She said no matter what, the water is always a sight to see.

“Love it. Just, just love it,” Bright said. “Love being down here and watching [the waves]. Unfortunately this wind has caused a lot of damage. I’m in insurance, and in claims, but hopefully we’ll get through this. But, I love these waves. I love the lake.”

READ MORE: Winds rip off roof at Edgewood Elementary

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