A storm with heavy rain, lightning and strong winds tore across Metro Detroit late Friday afternoon, knocking out power to thousands of DTE Energy customers.
At 8:40 p.m., DTE Energy was reporting nearly 18,000 power outages in the region, with more than 2,500 customers affected in an area just southeast of Detroit Metro Airport and more than 2,500 affected in an area around 16 Mile and Garfield Road in Macomb County.
Earlier Friday, the outages were as high as 30,000, according to the utility online map.
“Our target is early Sunday afternoon” for all customers to be restored, DTE spokesman Eric Younan said.
In the wake of the storm, at least two house fires were reported, one in St. Clair Shores, on Woodbridge Street near Helen Street after high winds downed a power line.
A home on Anita Drive in Grosse Pointe Woods also caught fire after the severe weather blew through the region.
Trees were reported down in Lapeer, Genesee and Monroe counties as wind gusts above 50 mph roared through the region, the National Weather Service said. Hail also was reported in spots.
The storms were fueled by a system ushering in unseasonable warmth.
Detroit Metro Airport reported a high of 78 — 19 degrees above average for the date and near the record 83 set in 1963, weather service records show.
But a change is underway.
Following a cold front, highs Saturday and Sunday are expected to top out in the upper 40s. Overnight lows are set to drop into the 30s.
Similar conditions are expected early next week, said Mike Richter, a meteorologist with the weather service station in White Lake Township. “We’re going to stay on the cooler side for a while.”