Fox News Weather Center

Weekly-wrap up: Deadly wildfires char central US; Strongest cyclone to hit Madagascar in 13 years wreaks havoc

Howling winds wreaked havoc from the Great Lakes to the northeastern United States this week, cutting power to more than a million people.

DTE Energy in Detroit said it was the largest storm in the history of the utility company as thousands of power lines were knocked down.

Gusts between 60-80 mph blasted the region, downing trees and power lines and causing travel chaos.

The University of Michigan men's basketball team landed in Washington D.C., for the Big Ten Tournament just three hours before tip off for their game on Wednesday. Their plane out of Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan, slid off the runway amid high winds.

No one was seriously injured, but several players sustained bruising. One player required stitches from a cut.

Wildfires claimed the lives of at least seven people across multiple states in the central U.S. this week, consuming as many as one million acres.

Fires ravaged areas in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Kansas. More than 500,000 acres burned in two Kansas counties, setting a state record. At least 500 animals died in fires that consumed commercial hog barns in Ochiltree County, Texas.

wildfires Colorado 3.7.17

The skyline stands against a yellow sky as the sun rises early Monday, March 6, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Severe storms also battered the central U.S. this week. An EF3 tornado injured at least 15 people in Oak Grove, Missouri, early in the week. Up to 200 people were displaced. Missouri was hit again at the end of the week with destructive winds and large hail.

Madagascar was hit by the strongest cyclone to strike the country in 13 years this week. At least five people were killed and others were injured as the cyclone, equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane, blasted the region. Nearly 800,000 people were affected by the storm.

Madagascar cyclone

Flood waters are seen in parts of Madagascar's capital, Antananarivo, on Thursday, March 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Alexander Joe)


The cyclone resulted in strong winds, landslides and flooding. Roughly 22,000 have either been left homeless or suffered property damage.

There are fears that the cyclone has destroyed vanilla crops in northeastern Madagascar, where much of the world’s vanilla comes from, the Associated Press reported.