JANESVILLE

Large portions of Janesville’s east side lost electrical power for about two hours Thursday morning.

Areas affected included Milton Avenue and Milwaukee Street, two main traffic corridors.

The city public works division was asked to post stop signs at the many intersections affected, said Sgt. Brain Vaughn of the Janesville police.

Vaughn said motorists are required to treat intersections where stoplights are not working as if they have stop signs, “which is scary,” Vaughn added, noting that some drivers might ignore this rule.

The Alliant Energy online outage map showed about 10,000 customers without power on the east side around 10:10 a.m.

Alliant spokeswoman Annemarie Newman said at 10:50 a.m. that about 1,100 customers remained without power, which she estimated would be restored within "a few hours."

All power was restored before noon, Newman said.

Newman said strong winds caused tree damage and affected high-voltage transmission lines on the city's east side.

Strong winds also damaged a former grocery store in the 1700 block of West State Street on the south side sometime before 7 a.m., said building owner Bill Wolf.

The wind peeled back a part of metal roof on the building, which no longer is used for commercial purposes.

Meteorologist Andy Boxel of the National Weather Service in Sullivan said the damage was likely caused by winds out of the east and southeast that gusted as high as 45 mph starting Wednesday night.

"For a gust of wind to pick that up like that, It would have to be one heavy gust of wind," Wolf said.

The Janesville School District postponed Thursday's sports competitions out of concern for more bad weather.

District spokesman Patrick Gasper said at 10:20 a.m. that some of the schools’ power had already been restored.

Schools have a lot of windows, Gasper noted, and students who are in interior rooms with little light would be moved to areas that get a lot of natural light.

The biggest concern is power to kitchens, Gasper said, but looked as though lunch would not be affected.

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