GOSHEN — Storms that rolled over Elkhart County early Tuesday morning, July 1, caused significant damage in some areas of Goshen, with wind bringing down branches, power lines and trees.
Straight-line winds reaching close to 70 mph hit Elkhart and surrounding counties at about 1 a.m., according to reports from the National Weather Service.
In Goshen, more than 7,200 NIPSCO customers were affected by power outages, according to the company’s power outage website. Nick Meyer, a spokesman for NIPSCO, said Goshen and Middlebury were among the hardest-hit areas, based on the number of customers affected and the type of damage.
About 580 cases of downed power lines were reported in Goshen, Meyer said.
He said it’s hard to tell how much longer it will take to get power restored to all customers, but it may take up to several days.
Goshen Street Commissioner Denny Long said that as of 5 p.m. Tuesday most streets were passable, with some exceptions, including Clinton Street between Greene Road and Riverside Boulevard; Berkey Avenue, between Indiana and Dewey avenues; and Berkey Avenue west of Waneta Drive.
Long is asking residents to be patient with brush pickup, and to place brush on curb and not on the street. He said it will take a few weeks for the city to collect all the brush.
“Those trees didn’t grow in a day, so we can’t be expected to pick it all up in a day,” Long said.
A few streets in the Chamberlain neighborhood were blocked by downed branches, and in one case, by a downed tree.
On Summit Street, near the North Goshen Mennonite Church, branches blocked the road and smashed at least one of the vehicles parked along the roadway.
Mervin Helmuth and other church goers got together to help clear the road. Helmuth said about half a dozen congregants showed up to help. Neighbors in the area later showed up to help as well.
Along Summit Street, just west of Seventh Street, a tree fell, blocking the road, bringing down a light pole and smashing Sandra Ochoa’s car.
"I’m calling my insurance company for my van,” she said. “But I don’t know what to do about the tree.”
Ochoa said she was home with her family early Tuesday morning when they heard the weather alerts and ran into their basement to seek cover. Luckily no one was injured, she said.
"We heard a loud noise like glass shattering when the tree fell,” Ochoa said.