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Despite Storm, Crowds Still Come Out to Woodward

Woodward Avenue through Birmingham was packed with cars and fans despite the Dream Cruise closing early.

Fans of the Woodward Dream Cruise weren't deterred by , as hundreds of cruise fans packed the sides of Woodward Avenue Saturday night, watching the increasing number of cars still cruising despite the official closure of the Dream Cruise.

Birmingham Police Sgt. Michael Albrecht, the officer in charge of Cruise shutdown for Birmingham, said he called nine of his regular officers back in after the storms cleared up. Combined with the 12 auxillary officers, the police will continue to patrol Woodward Avenue on foot and bike.

Albrecht said Birmingham police aren't encouraging anyone to go home, despite the closure of the Cruise after massive power outages struck Royal Oak, Berkley, Beverly Hills and parts of Birmingham after the storm. , though most were clustered in the southwestern corner of the city. Most of the homes without power borders Beverly Hills, where the majority of the outages occured.

Glen and Laurie Heuer and Barbara and Frank Carlesimo, all from Sterling Heights, were parked in their chairs in the 555 triangle around 7 p.m. Saturday. As Chevrolet packed away their classic and new car displays behind them, the Heuers and Carlesimos were ready to watch the cruisers rain or shine.

"We arrived right after the storm, but we come every year," said Laurie Heuer.

As for whether they would be out cruising Woodward, Barbara Carlesimos said they could only wish.

"We'd love to have one of our (classic car)," she said. "We haven't won the lottery yet."

Another group of die-hard Cruise fans were the members of the swim team, who were still selling water to passing cruisers for $1 to raise funds for their team. Caroline Filips, wearing a star costume, said they ran under cover when the storm hit but came right back out afterward.

The folks from Advanced Screen Printing, with a T-shirt booth south of Lincoln Avenue, also said they weren't deterred by the closure of the Cruise.

"We'll be out until 10," said Jodi Williamson, who was working the booth.

Though a large portion of the Saturday night cruisers were hotrods, Tom Thomas from Lake Orion, who was watching from the back of his pick-up with his wife Kathy, said the rain drove many of the classics away.

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