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MARQUETTE, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News) – Strong storms with high winds and heavy rain moved across the U.P. affecting thousands of people by knocking out power and causing damage including downed trees and more.  The Upper Peninsula Power Company is reporting thousands of customers without power, with outages reported from the Copper Country to Delta County.  UPPCO has not released a timeline for the expected full restoration of service.

The Marquette Board of Light and Power says their crews are working on restoring main circuits first, and as a result, some of their customers in some of their outlying service areas in Marquette County such as Skandia, Sands and Chocolay Townships may be without power until tomorrow.

Wind gusts over 50 miles per hour were reported on the Lake Superior shoreline in Marquette, while 65 mile an hour gusts were reported in Menominee.  The high winds caused trees and branches to be blown down across the region, blocking roads and cutting power.  State Police at Central Dispatch in Negaunee Township say all main roadways are open and clear, but roads in many rural locations may still be blocked by trees and debris and motorists need to use caution.

Residents are being advised to stay away from downed power lines and treat them as if they were live and energized.  People should not attempt to move or cut any trees or branches near the power lines.  Downed power lines and trees can be reported to your local police agency, power company or local road commission office.