50 mph winds reported locally

HOUGHTON – Although the Copper Country was spared the widespread outages and tornado watches of downstate Michigan, it still had to contend with high gusts, downed trees and spotty power outages.

The cause is a low-pressure system that moved east from the Central Plains two days ago, said forecaster Dave Petrovich at the National Weather Service in Negaunee.

“Fortunately, the high pressure area moving in is not as high as it could have been, so that kept it down a bit,” he said.

The roughest winds were reported in Copper Harbor and at the Houghton County Memorial Airport in Franklin Township, where winds peaked at 51 miles per hour.

Elsewhere in the Western Upper Peninsula, strong winds were reported overnight in Baraga (46 miles-per-hour gusts), Wakefield (49), Calumet/Laurium (44) and Kenton (40).

Petrovich said winds will die down in the morning, though still gusting in the 35- to 40-miles-per-hour range through the morning. They should die off rapidly tonight as a new high-pressure system moves in.

Local departments reported few wind-related incidents. The Keweenaw County Road Commission had to remove a tree off U.S. 41 north of Mohawk about 2:45 a.m., said Undersheriff Richard Olson of the Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Department.

An unknown amount of trees were reported downed in Baraga County.

Several minor outages were reported in the Copper Country, the biggest being in Toivola, where 98 customers lost power. There were also scattered outages affecting seven customers in Chassell, Donken, Houghton, Lake Linden and Ontonagon.

The biggest impact reported by Upper Peninsula Power Company was in Ishpeming, where 617 people were without power.

In lower Michigan, more than 450,000 customers were reported to have lost power as of this morning.