Power outages and driving hazards as winds gust over 50 mph

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NORTHEAST WISCONSIN (WBAY) - High winds are causing downed trees and power lines for a second day. Those winds are also causing some white knuckle moments out on the roads.

A semi tips on I-43 near Sheboygan.

Wind reports coming into the National Weather Service show gusts of 53 mph at Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport.

In Menominee, a report came in of 69 mph winds.

POWER OUTAGES

Wisconsin Public Service estimated it's worked to restore power to 93,000 customers between Monday night and Wednesday afternoon. At 7:30 pm that number was down to 8,338 customers in the dark.

The hardest hit regions were the Minocqua, Wausaukee, Eagle River, Wabeno and Rhinelander areas.

"We're working as safely and as efficiently as we can to restore power to all customers throughout our service territory," WPS spokesman Matt Cullen said.

About 5,700 customers were without power in Green Bay starting Wednesday morning, and that was impacting traffic signals, schools, homes, and businesses on the city's west side.

A tall tree came crashing down on power lines off 12th Avenue, cutting service to the neighborhood and adding thousands to that list.

WPS says it brought crews from outside the area to help in Green Bay.

"There definitely have been those situations where we've restored powers in certain areas and with the winds staying around more outages have arisen," Cullen said.

The outage on Green Bay's west side lasted several hours. Schools got their lights back on at 2 in the afternoon. But crews expect they'll be working until 11 p.m. to get power back for everyone.

People are urged to report any outages, downed lines, or broken poles to WPS. The utility cautions people to stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines.

"Report it to us immediately, and treat all wires that are down as if they are energized, because they very well may still be energized," Cullen said.

See "Related Links" for power outage and traffic resources.

DRIVE SAFELY

The Waupaca County Sheriff's Office is urging semi trucks, trailers, and taller trucks to be very cautious during these high wind gusts.

The department posted a photo on social media showing a trailer tipped on Highway 10, blocking the eastbound lanes of traffic.

A viewer sent us photos of a semi tipped over on I-43 near Sheboygan. (see below).

In Manitowoc, a tipped semi blocked the northbound lanes of I-43 at Highway 310.

A Wind Advisory continues for Green Bay's Leo Frigo Bridge. Drivers are urged to find an alternate route if possible.

Those who must travel on the bridge should go no faster than 45 mph, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

High profile vehicles like semis and RVs are urged to avoid the bridge.

All drivers should watch out for strong crosswinds, especially on highways. StormCenter 2's Steve Beylon says drivers should be careful on the north-south roads.




 
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