Thousands of homes and businesses around the state are without power as high winds cause numerous outages. As of midday Wednesday in the Great Lakes Bay Region, that included more than 500 Consumers Energy customers in Saginaw County, nearly 400 in Midland County, and nearly 250 in Bay County.

Genesee and Gratiot counties were even harder hit, with more than 1,000 outages each.

In areas where traffic lights are out, drivers should treat intersections as 4-way stops. Also, Consumers Energy reminds everyone to be aware of the potential for downed wires and other safety hazards. The utility advises staying at least 25 feet away from a downed wire and anything it’s touching and to either call 9-1-1 or Consumers Energy at 1-800-477-5050. If your power goes out, never use a generator in an attached garage, basement, enclosed patio or near air intakes to avoid a build up of deadly carbon monoxide gas.