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High winds knock down trees, knock out power



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DTE Energy crews were seen across Oxford and Addison townships fixing fallen power lines. Photos by Trevor Keiser. (click for larger version)
November 20, 2013 - Severe storms with wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour blew through the area Sunday knocking down branches, trees and power lines, leaving nearly 3,000 Oxford and Addison residents without electricity.

Those living in the area of Thomas and Ludwig roads got a show after a tree fell on a power line on Thomas Road, according to Oxford Fire Chief Pete Scholz.

"The tree came down, knocked the wires down back there (on Thomas Road) and caused them to snap all the way back to the poll (at the corner of Thomas and Ludwig)," Scholz said. "With them lying on the ground arcing, it arced enough that it melted the gas pipe (beneath) and caused a leak."

Approximately 1,500 DTE Energy customers lost power in Oxford.

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Scholz said there was another wire on E. Burdick Street by Hampton Block that came across the back of people's houses and landed on top of a car and on the Hampton Block's building.

"Both locations were on standby from 9 p.m. Sunday night until Edison could get here (in the afternoon on Monday) to take care of them," he added.

Other downed-wire locations included North Oxford Road, Ray Road, and the corner of Oakwood Road and Ludwig Road.

"(There were) a few trees down around the township but otherwise that's about the extent of it," noted Scholz. "Nobody got hurt."

Addison Township firefighters stayed busy Sunday night with about 30 fallen trees and six to eight downed power lines, leaving around 1,200 customers without power.

"The majority of everybody is out of power here," said Addison Township Fire Chief Jerry Morawski. "Everybody be mindful that if the power is out for awhile to watch the generators and sources of heat you use in your house and continue to be safe. Make sure the batteries are working in your smoke detector."

The roads that got hit the worst with downed trees included Curtis Road, Dequindre and Hagerman.

Students of Leonard Elementary and Kingsbury Country Day School enjoyed a day off on Monday as their schools were without electricity as well.

Oxford Community Schools Communication Coordinator Jenny Matteson said the missed school day would not put the district behind.

"Our staff is always prepared and accommodates for weather-related closings," Matteson said. "This is the start of the winter season in Michigan. Inclement weather is to be expected."

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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