Sunday, September 4, 2011

Thunderstorms disrupt Michigan season opener, Arts, Beats, and Eats, and other events

In Preview of Arts, Beats, and Eats, I made the following pledge.
I promise to keep you all updated as the news comes in.
It seems that the weather is not cooperating with event organizers who want Saturdays free of bad weather. Two weeks ago, a severe thunderstorm hit the last day of Woodward Dream Cruise, knocking down trees, causing damage to homes, and briefly canceling the event. Tonight, the same thing happened to Arts, Beats, and Eats and other events here in southeast Michigan.

Here's the warning from WXYZ.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning

At first, the cell in the video was just a threat to Washtenaw County, where the University of Michigan was playing. Don Shane reported on the calling of the game for weather.

WXYZ Sports Director Don Shane joins Tom Leyden on the phone with a first-hand account of what transpired at Michigan Stadium this afternoon as the Wolverines beat Western Michigan 34-10 in a weather-shortened delay.
This is the first time that a game at Michigan Stadium has ever been called for weather. That tells you how bad the storm was. The 11 PM news updated the report with the perspective of the coach and players themselves.

Brad Galli reports from Ann Arbor where the Brady Hoke era started with 130 degree temperatures and an on-and-off severe weather storm that eventually postponed the season opener.
Talk about extreme weather! Also, bet you didn't think I'd blog about sports in a sustainability blog. As you can see, I do when it supports a point about climate change. Yes, I know weather isn't climate change, but the combination of extreme heat followed by the first football game cancellation in U of M's history sure says something.

The storm eventually traveled to Oakland and Wayne counties, where they caused problems for events there.
First, a visitor to Arts, Beats, and Eats describes his experience during the storm.

Arts, Beats and Eats storms

Royal Oak Patch has more details.

Storms Send Most of Festival Crowd Home Early; Thousands Left Without Power
The storm rolled through Royal Oak between 8:30 and 9 p.m., after which diehard festival-goers started returning for the evening performances. By 9:30 p.m., 90 minutes before the official close of fest, beer tents and live music were about all that was left open. That seemed to be enough for those who stuck around.
The storm hit more than Arts, Beats, and Eats. To begin with it shut off the power at our house three times in less than ten minutes. It also blew down branches onto the street and sidewalk. That didn't happen during the storm that hit Dream Cruise. Our power stayed on all that time. Just the same, we were still lucky. At least our power came right back on.
Meanwhile, Royal Oak and surrounding communities were especially hard hit by the storm; DTE Energy's website indicated at 12:20 a.m. that nearly 4,400 customers were without power in Royal Oak's zip code areas of 48067 and 48073. Ferndale had more than 6,000 homes without power, and Pleasant Ridge, Oak Park and Madison Heights had thousands left powerless as well.
That's nearly as severe an outage as during the storm that hit Dream Cruise, which left 7,000+ in Royal Oak without power.

The storm also shut down River Rougue Days, which looks like it was hit even harder than Arts, Beats, and Eats.

The storm hit...Rouge Days festival and caused damages and injuries.

At least no injuries have been reported so far from Arts, Beats, and Eats.

Again, more updates as they become available.


  1. Narb watched hours of Wolverine and Irish weather delays on TV Saturday, all the while wishing that there would be additional catastrophic events in Houston.

    But it was not the case. Bring on the Spartans of the West.

    1. I understand the "Spartans of the West" got clobbered yesterday. Oh, wait, they lost to ASU by four at the end of the game. That works for me.