Intense winds hit Great Lakes region, parts of New York

Mark Ross
By Mark Ross
March 9, 2017USshare

The powerful winds whipping through the Great Lakes region turned deadly in Detroit.

High wind was blamed for fanning the flames of a burning apartment building on Wednesday.

Five people died in the blaze, four more were hurt.

“We had people jumping out the back. The fire was being driven by the wind. A horrendous fire to fight. The smoke was down to the street. The flames were coming over the firemen trying to get over the front door,” said Deputy Commissioner of David Fornell, Detroit Fire Department.

Near the Motor City, a commuter jet carrying the University of Michigan men’s basketball team was taking off when the wind shoved it off the runway.

The pilot aborted the takeoff, and the plane has extensive damage.

No players were seriously hurt.

“We were off that plane, going down those chutes, going out up on the wings, going out of there, in a minute. It seemed like everybody got off that plane. Everybody was really disciplined. And a lot of poise,” said University of Michigan basketball coach John Beilein.

The National Weather Service issued high wind warnings for a 12-county area of western New York State.

Gusts topped 80 miles per hour on Wednesday, bringing down trees and power lines.

Nearly one hundred thousand people lost power in the Rochester area.

Many schools there are closed on Thursday.

The wind is also kicking up big waves in the Great Lakes.

The high surf had Lake Michigan’s eastern coastline looking like the ocean.

(AP)

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