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      Morning storm knocks out power, downs trees on eve of Fourth of July

      The buzz and whir of wood chippers filled the air Tuesday, moments after thunder and lightning jump-started a hazy summer morning. It wasnâ??t the scene Phil Venable of Clayton Township expected to wake up to the day before the Fourth of July.

      â??I put my coffee on, and came out, and we had no wind, no rain,â?? Venable described.

      â??Then all of a sudden, it went crazy. The high wind came in, it was just a downpour of rain, and I started hearing trees coming down."

      Venable said the storm was over in about fifteen minutes, snapping several long-lived trees and dampening thirsty lawns with its brief downpour.

      "We just ended up with light showers, but the damage was already done,â?? Venable said.

      Crews cleared out fallen debris, while just around the corner in Flint Township, Consumers Energy workers scrambled to restore air-conditioning to households that took the power hit.

      Venable said he wouldn't have minded less damage and a little more rain, after weeks of hot and dry weather, but figured, Mother Nature knows best.

      "We'll get the rain, sooner or later,â?? Venable said.

      â??It's Michigan, it changes every 15 minutes."