Rain/Ice/Wind Storm January 11-12

The weather this weekend does not look great.

Storm Preparations - January 11-12

We are schedule to have a couple of inches of rain between Friday night and Saturday night leading to flooding. While temperatures will be warm to start, they will drop to the low 20s overnight Saturday. This can lead to a significant accumulation of ice from standing water on the roads. Additionally, wind gusts up to 40 mph are in the forecast. With wet, frozen branches and power lines, this is a recipe for downed lines and power outages.


Storm Updates

There is a flood warning for Washtenaw County. The Huron River is in danger of flooding. The last update I heard, it was at 14.9 feet and expected to crest at 16.1. With the flood level at 16.0 feet, flooding is a very real possibility.

Preparing for the Storm

There are a few steps you can take to prevent issues with the storm.

Clear Storm Drains

Our street has a tendency to flood. The storm drain near our house tends to accumulate leaves and other debris. My neighbor went out and cleared it.

Charge Devices, Fuel Cars

Make sure to keep your phones charged. If you have external batteries that you can use to charge them, you may want to charge them as well. It is also a good idea to make sure you have fuel in your car. If there are power outages, gas stations cannot dispense gas.

Prepare Lighting Options

Make sure your flashlights all have batteries and are conveniently located. We also have several battery powered LED lanterns that offer good lighting during power outages. With long nights in winter, make sure you have spare batteries as well.

Adjust your Thermostat

Our thermostat is programmed to drop the temperature at night while we are sleeping. With the potential to lose power overnight, we will raise the overnight temperature.

Additionally, if you have firewood for your fireplace, bring some inside now so it can dry off.


If you are in need of staples, the grocery stores and big box stores tend to get hit hard before storms. Other places that you can look for staples like bread, milk, and toilet paper are convenience stores and drug stores. Batteries can also be found at places like Tractor Supply and auto supply stores.

We usually do our grocery shopping on Sunday. That means by today we are starting to run low on some items. However with the potential for a power outage, I am not sure I want to stock up too much today. We have plenty of staples that we can make. Fortunately we have a gas stove that I can manually light so we can still cook on the stove.


See our tips below about how long your refrigerator and freezer can last without power. A simple tip is to freeze water in containers or plastic bags to help fill your freezer.

With the river at flood stages, it is possible that flooding can compromise the water supply. I am filling several containers with drinking water so that we have safe filtered water in case there is an issue with water.

Outage Map

To find local power outages, you can check the DTE outage map on their website or in their phone app.

Currently (10am on Saturday, January 11), the only reported power outage in the area is in Saline. There is a section south of US-12 that is without power.

Closures & Event Cancellations

With the possibility of power outages, there is always a chance for locations to be closed. Be sure to check before heading out, especially on Sunday. We will add closures below as we see them, but it’s always best to check the original source.

How to Stay Warm

With temperatures in the 20s on Sunday, it is important to find ways to stay warm on Saturday. If you have a fireplace that is safe for use, plan to have a family slumber party in that room.

During the day, you can head to somewhere with power for the day. With AADL locations spread throughout town, there is a good chance that they will not all be without power. Remember that the Traverwood Branch is closed for renovations. In addition to warmth, they also offer power outlets to charge your phones and other devices.

Local Museums are always a great choice.

Ann Arbor Indoor Activities - Top 5 Ann Arbor Area Museums for Kids

Movie Theaters are a great choice for both entertainment and warmth. Sunday is the Family Friendly Film with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Free for kids). Other kid-friendly films in theaters include:

  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker  (PG-13) – Check out our review & parental guidance.
  • Frozen 2
  • Jumanji: The Next Level (PG-13)
  • Cats
  • Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  • Ford v. Ferrari (PG-13)

Preserving Your Food

If you lose power for an extended time, try to keep your refrigerator and freezer closed. According to this Insider article, the USDA says a full freezer will stay frozen for 48 hours, a half full freezer for 24 hours, and a refrigerator for 4 hours.

If your freezer isn’t full, they recommend freezing water in plastic containers or bags – as a bonus you’ll have fresh water to thaw in the case of a water main burst.

Dry ice is an option. I know we have bought it at Meijer for Halloween and I have heard that Washtenaw Dairy carries it. Do you know of anywhere else locally?

Another option is to find a friend with power who has extra space in their refrigerator or freezer.

Staying Busy at Home with No Power

Our plan for this weekend is to take down some of the Christmas decorations. However without power it will be hard to work in our basement.

You can make Sunday a family activity day at home. Did you get new games for Christmas? Have a family game day or invite friends for a bigger group. We enjoy classics like Clue, Scrabble, and Trivial Pursuit. Other games we like are Pandemic, Codenames, Exploding Kittens, and The Chameleon. Some games may be able to be played by candlelight.

Maybe start a new LEGO set and have a family building day. Or better yet, break out the random blocks and have a building contest. Try to build the tallest tower, or take turns building items and having the others guess what you’ve built.

Set aside family reading time and all curl up with a good book.

Other Suggestions

Do you have other suggestions for storm preparations or at home activities? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook.

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Anna Mae
Anna Mae owns & operates Ann Arbor with Kids, a website dedicated to Family Activities in Ann Arbor. My husband and I moved to Ann Arbor in 2003 and our daughter joined the family in 2006.

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