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Power Outages Reported in Dexter, Chelsea as Hurricane Sandy Makes Landfall

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory warning of gusts up to 50 miles per hour that is in effect until 5 p.m. Tuesday and includes Dexter and Chelsea.

UPDATED 10:27 p.m.: As of 10:27 p.m. Monday, DTE Energy is reporting 136 customers in the Chelsea zip code of 48118 and 156 customers in the Dexter zip code of 48130 without power.

As high winds pick up in southeast Michigan due to the reach of Hurricane Sandy, so will the likelihood for power outages and other wind-related issues.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory on Monday for all of southern Michigan, including Midland, Bay, Lenawee, Saginaw, Tuscola, Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. The advisory is in effect until 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Winds are expected to reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour, and could cause hazardous situations including power outages, downed tree branches, and difficulty driving, especially on east-west roads.

DTE Energy spokesman John Austerberry said that the Michigan-based gas and electric company has not seen any big outages yet, but is anticipating them.

"We haven't seen any significant outages so far, but our meteorologist is predicting wind gusts as high as 50 miles per hour," Austerberry said. "There is the likelihood that we will see some power outages as the wind starts to approach that level."

The most common cause of wind-related outages, he added, is downed tree limbs.

DTE has released around 100 contract line crews to assist with expected major outages on the East Coast as Sandy hits. However, DTE's crews will be staying in Michigan.

"We have not sent any of our own crews because we want to see what happens with the weather here," Austerberry said.

To prepare for high winds, Michigan residents are encouraged to use precaution while driving – especially high-profile vehicles. Additionally, residents are encouraged to move trash cans, lawn furniture, Halloween decorations and other outdoor items into their garage or home.

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