By Rosemary K. Otzman
On Sunday night, Nov. 17, a strong storm blew into the Belleville area, toppling trees, turning off electricity to 8,000 in the Belleville and Canton areas, and generally making life miserable.
At the Wayne County Fairgrounds, the Pug ‘n’ Play dog party ended around 4 p.m. and, next door at the fairgrounds, the Democratic session to introduce party candidates wrapped up at 5 p.m. By the time all those participants were headed home, the winds got stronger and the rain started pelting.
Power started sputtering out across the area and people with generators turned them on.
A person in Country Pond Estates in Van Buren Township was taken to the hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning on Monday morning, after putting his generator in the attached garage with the door up just a bit for circulation Sunday night.
Fires erupted and were battled, including one at the Five Star Market in Sumpter Township.
Fire crews in Van Buren Township sawed up trees that blocked roadways on Haggerty near Bemis, Hannan near the freeway, and other locations.
A big, old tree blew down in the old part of Hillside Cemetery. Another grand old tree was toppled on Bak Road between Hull and Bemis.
Generators kept emergency services going in the Sumpter Township and City of Belleville police departments. North of I-94, power was interrupted here and there, but the Van Buren Township Hall was open as usual on Monday.
The VBT Board held its work/study session as usual on Monday afternoon, followed by a special Downtown Development Authority meeting to select a contractor for the fence it is putting up along Belleville Road near Harmony Lane.
Sumpter Township Hall was without power on Monday and Belleville City Hall employees worked in the cold building until about 1 p.m. and then went home. Monday’s Belleville City Council meeting was cancelled and reset for Wednesday night.
All the Van Buren Public Schools and Keystone Academy were closed Monday for lack of power. Monday night’s VBPS school board work/study session was cancelled.
Downtown Belleville businesses were closed with some saying ti looked like a ghost town.
Andrew’s Drugs, however, pulled out its generator by its back door and put out a sign saying it was open for business.
On Tuesday morning, everything downtown was back to normal and school buses were out picking up students.
News reports say Willow Run Airport had gusts of 70 mph winds on Sunday.
By Rosemary K. Otzman