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Storm blows through area


Emergency responders, utility crews work to clear limbs, downed lines


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It took nearly 24 hours for repair crews to restore power to residents and businesses throughout the village and township following Thursday’s storm. photo by Tom Wearing.

July 21, 2010
ALMONT — It took nearly 24 hours for power to be restored after a severe wind and thunderstorm ravaged the area Thursday evening, July 15.

The storm reportedly struck at around 6:10 p.m., leaving dozens of fallen trees, limbs, power and telephone lines in its wake.

The National Weather Service reported wind gusts of nearly 70 miles per hour, while rainfall was registered at about one-and-a-half inches.

Because the traffic signals were out downtown, Almont police officers were forced to direct traffic throughout the night and well into Friday (July 16) afternoon. Power was finally restored around 5 p.m. on Friday.

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Fire Chief Paul Wayco said firefighters responded to multiple reports of downed trees, telephone and power lines — though there were no reported injuries.

Wayco noted one incident during which a surge protector had been connected to a generator, shorted out and caught the home's carpeting on fire.

"The homeowner turned the generator off and the fire extinguished itself," said Wayco.

Power was still out at the Almont Village/Township offices on Monday. Acting Village Manager Sally McCrea said the village's telephones and emergency generator were also out.

Police Chief Pat Nael complimented his officers, as well as Almont DPW and firefighters for their rapid response to the storm.

"All the crews got out there pretty quickly," said Nael, "making sure the roads were passable and that the public was not in danger from downed wires."

He admitted that long hours of traffic control placed an extra burden on police officers.

"When our officers have to be out there for 10 or more hours directing traffic, it takes a toll," said Nael. "It becomes a safety issue for all. That requires the cooperation of motorists to make sure no one gets hurt."

Imlay City also hit

While Almont may have taken the brunt of the storm, Imlay City emergency crews were also kept busy in the aftermath of the storm. Some residents were without power for almost two days.

Fire Chief Kip Reaves said Imlay City firefighters responded to several reports of storm damage, including fallen trees, limbs and arcing wires in both the city and Almont Township.

Reaves listed several locations to which firefighters responded. They included:

•A live wire at the corner of Main and Fourth streets, where firefighters stood guard until DTE crews arrived.

•On Seventh Street, a fallen tree brought down a service line. Firefighters taped off the area and stood by until relieved by DTE crews.

•Response to a report of a downed tree on a house at Palmer and Maple Vista streets. There were no public safety issues.

•On N. Fairgrounds Rd. in Imlay Township, firefighters found primary wires down and arcing. They again waited until DTE crews arrived to secure the scene.

Asst. Editor Maria Brown contributed to this report.

Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.
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