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Posted on Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:48 p.m.

Watch the power lines arc in Ann Arbor during Tuesday's snowstorm

By Amy Biolchini

Wet tree limbs falling on live power lines during Tuesday night's snowstorm caused bright flashes of light across Washtenaw County that caught the attention of many area residents.

Stephen Johnson took the following video of a power line arcing at Page Avenue and Marlborough Drive Tuesday night on the south side of Ann Arbor.

Make sure the volume on your computer is on to hear the sound of the lines arcing.

View Larger Map

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.


Lizzy Alfs

Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 12:04 p.m.

This is wild! I've never seen these "arcs" before. I can't believe how powerful it is.


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 2:50 a.m.

It's got a good beat. You could dance to it.

John Gotts

Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 2:13 a.m.

I believe I saw that arc from I-94 around 10 or 10:15, heading east. It was bright as daylight.

Ann English

Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 3:59 a.m.

"Bright as daylight" is right. And the sound--I couldn't believe for a while that this was actually what reporters say it was. It was too easy to think that the sound was added to the video in order to desensitize the viewer to the solemnity of what it actually was. NOT for entertainment. Not background music. But a reactive sound.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 10:59 p.m.

Awesome. We could see the flashes being given off some number of blocks away as a sort of diffuse orange and bluish light show over the houses. At the same time the power on our block was pulsating on/off like once per second which I am guessing corresponds to the "pulsation" in the audio. It was very odd.

Homeland Conspiracy

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 10:23 p.m.

Did you here the message? it was like Morse code from God! Repent, Repent!!!!


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 4:02 a.m.

Which God? There's so many, none of which have any level of tangible validity over the others.... So yea. I'll probably never get a good answer for that one. Lol.

John of Saline

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 10:07 p.m.

Um, I wouldn't drive under that arc. What was the truck driver thinking?


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:57 p.m.

Very cool. Thanks for sharing. Our power started going on and off yesterday afternoon around 2:30pm. It continued into the night. Then at 5:30 am this morning it went off for good. (or bad). DTE said it would be Thursday night between 9:30 and 11:30pm at fist. Now when I look at the map, many more around the area have lost it. But now they say tonight after 11:00pm. That's good. We did buy a generator a few years ago and it has been a blessing to have it. It will be a cold dark night for some folks unfortunately. Help out your elderly neighbors if you can.

Linda Peck

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:23 p.m.

Very impressive. Especially the truck driving underneath.

Amy Biolchini

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:03 p.m.

Many thanks to the reader that submitted this video. Seeing and hearing this happen is crazy.