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Gusty winds to build to 40 mph on Election Day, power outages possible for Upper Peninsula

Nov 05, 2018 08:01PM ● By Editor

MLive file photo of waves crashing near the Muskegon beach

By Tanda Gmiter of - November 5, 2018

A storm system sweeping into the Great Lakes tonight will bring winds that are expected to build in intensity during the day Tuesday, prompting Michigan statewide utility officials to say they're prepared to deal with possible power outages.

According to the National Weather Service office in Grand Rapids MI, winds will kick in Tuesday morning, reaching 30 to 40 mph by Tuesday afternoon. Some gusts may top that.

Michigan smack dab in center of storm on Election Day

The highest winds are expected south of I-96.

DTE Energy officials said Monday they were preparing for power outages Tuesday based on the forecast. The expect the weather event could be "somewhat significant."

"DTE Energy has mobilized its employees and allocated additional resources to ensure polling stations and other critical locations that could be impacted by storm-related outages are restored as safely and quickly as possible in the event of an issue," the utility said in a statement.

"DTE is prepared to deploy nearly 2,000 employees, including 900 linemen, to restore power to polling stations and customers across the region on election day, 800 tree-trimming professionals and 200 additional team members to secure downed power lines and help linemen focus on restoration efforts."

The utility can also deploy 100 gas-powered generators to polling stations if needed.

Tuesday's wind forecast is part of a week filled with what meteorologists are calling "unsettled" weather. It started with gale warnings stretching across Lake Superior early Monday, and is expected to end with accumulating snow this weekend.

"A more active weather pattern will bring unsettled weather to Michigan into next weekend. Several storm systems will track across the area, each bringing rounds of wind and rain, before colder air settles in for the end of the week and generates lake effect snow," according to the NWS.

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