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Published: Tuesday, 11/8/2005

Severe weather threat remains

Olga McNamara cleans up debris from the last wave of storms at Toledo Botanical Garden.
Olga McNamara cleans up debris from the last wave of storms at Toledo Botanical Garden.

By the time you read this today, you ll probably feel like you ve just taken a one-two punch of bad weather.

What s not entirely clear is whether the punching s over yet.

With severe thunderstorms and large hail in last night s forecast, chances were pretty good that thousands of area residents assuming they were able to fall asleep in the first place would awake this morning to power outages.

But the threat of service disruption hasn t ended. The National Weather Service in Cleveland yesterday predicted large hail and damaging winds continuing throughout the daytime today for the Toledo area, with gusts of up to 35 mph through tonight.

The forecast calls for winds to taper off tomorrow, yet remain between 10 and 20 mph through at least tomorrow night.

None of this is incredibly great timing for a region that just yesterday was getting a sense of normalcy restored following the fast-moving thunderstorm on Sunday that downed numerous power lines.

About 127,000 DTE Energy customers in lower Michigan lost power at some point.

Terry DeDoes, Consumers Energy spokesman, said 90,000 customers serviced by that utility also went through periods of power outages, including 910 customers in the Temperance area.

In northwest Ohio, some 11,000 Toledo Edison customers from the Indiana line through eastern Ottawa County had bouts of electricity loss.

Nearly everyone served by those three utilities had power back by late Monday night.

John Austerberry, DTE Energy spokesman, said about 60 of that utility s customers in Lenawee County were without electricity yesterday. However, he wasn t sure whether that outage was storm-related.

Spokesmen for all three utilities said their companies were watching weather forecasts and putting crews on standby for when the next round of inevitable outages occur.

There s little [else] we can do in advance of a storm, Chuck Krueger, Toledo Edison spokesman, said.

Just for the record, there s a glimmer of hope that today won t be Sunday redux: The weather service said there s a 10 percent chance of a dry sky. In other words, the chance of rain is 90 percent.

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