Strong storms move through Michigan, cause damage in downtown Muskegon; more high winds arrive



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MUSKEGON, Michigan — Strong storms that moved through Michigan tore the roof off a building in downtown Muskegon, and high winds knocked out power Friday in areas scattered around the state.

Straight-line winds flung debris from the damaged building in Muskegon late Thursday, knocking over a street sign and forcing officials to close a road, The Muskegon Chronicle reported.

Assistant Fire Chief Ken Chudy said downtown Muskegon was suffering some power outages, but that there was "little damage otherwise." No injuries were reported. The National Weather Service reported hail as the severe thunderstorms moved through.

High wind advisories were in effect Friday, with gusts of more than 40 mph reported.

"It will be enough to bring a few tree limbs down," Justin Arnott, a meteorologist with the weather service office in Gaylord, said Friday morning. "It's going to be windy everywhere."

Meanwhile, parts of Michigan's Upper Peninsula were getting a springtime round of wintry weather. Two to 6 inches of heavy, wet snow is possible on Friday in the Marquette and Houghton areas before the storms end. In addition to snow that fell on Thursday, forecasters said the total is expected to be 4 to 9 inches in places.

Several thousand power outages were scattered around the state, but officials warn that number could increase amid high winds. Some mid-Michigan schools delayed the start of classes due to outages, including Mid-Michigan Community College's Harrison campus, the Morning Sun of Mount Pleasant reported.

Some minor flooding was reported in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak following heavy rains. Public service crews in Royal Oak worked for about an hour Thursday night to clear debris after flooding trapped a car under a bridge, WXYZ-TV reported.

On Thursday, lightning strikes were blamed for a mobile home fire, a fire place explosion and a tree striking a house.

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