Elkhart Truth Logo
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Elkhart County storm downs trees, causes power outages

Storms have caused minor damage and power outages in and around Elkhart County.
Truth Staff
Posted on June 29, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.

ELKHART — Residents who lost power in Friday’s mid-day storm may be facing a sticky weekend.

A thunderstorm that rumbled across the region from LaPorte County to Delaware County left 107,000 Indiana Michigan Power customers without electricity. The utility is working to reconnect service and is calling in crews from other states to help, but the restoration could take all weekend because of the number of downed power lines.

“It’s going to be a lengthy restoration process because of the area involved and the amount of damage we are seeing out there,” said I&M spokesman Dave Mayne. “The public should be prepared for a day or two with no power.”

Late Friday evening, the power company updated its assessment and predicted Elkhart repairs could be completed by very late tonight.

Northern Indiana Public Service Co., which supplies electricity to most of Elkhart County, did not have an estimate for when power would be restored to its customers. About 28,000 NIPSCO ratepayers lost service and by 9 p.m. Friday, 23,377 remained without power.

It, too, is bringing in addition crews to repair the damage.

As the storm passed through Elkhart, temperatures fell into the 60s. However, the thermometer is expected to soar into the 90s both today and Sunday, according to AccuWeather.

Clouds rolled into Elkhart County late morning and a few hours later produced strong gusts of wind along with a much-needed rain shower. The Elkhart city fire department received the first call of damage about 2 p.m. then spent the next five hours attending to multiple downed power lines.

“It was just a real surge of wind for a short period of time but it caused havoc,” said Battalion Chief Brett Schrock.

A large evergreen tree in front of the Elkhart Police station on Waterfall Drive was uprooted and left leaning against the brick building.

Following the storm, Maria Brewer, who lives along Strong Avenue, stepped from her house to take a closer look at a branch that had fallen just a block down Myrtle Street. She said it was a miracle that none of her neighbors were injured in the fast-changing weather.

“I’m glad to see some rain but not this way,” Brewer said. “Mother Nature has its ways and I’m just glad no one got hurt.”

A downed power line did ignite a small grass fire at 3610 Bent Oak Trail, according to Schrock. The fire was threatening a wooded area but the rain and a strip of pavement slowed its movement, helping firefighters extinguish the flames quickly.

I&M is continuing to access the damage and make plans for the restoration process, Mayne said. The power company does give priority to reconnecting electricity to medical facilities and human service agencies.

The utility cautioned residents to stay away from anything that looks like a downed power line and call either I&M at 800-311-4634 or local 911.

 Kate McClintock, 12, left, Kate Green, 13, and Lilly Bond, 13, look at their smartphones at Lilly's home in Evanston, Ill. on Thursday, April 3, 2014. The friends are seventh-graders at Haven Middle School in Evanston, which has been at the center of a controversy over its dress code. Parents and students, including these girls, complain that the school's restrictions on girls' attire, including leggings, is inconsistent and targets girls with certain body types. The district is reviewing the school and district policies. (AP Photo/Martha Irvine)
By MARTHA IRVINE AP National Writer
Posted 10 minutes ago
By JACQUES BILLEAUD Associated Press
Posted 15 minutes ago
 FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2013, file photo, visitors socialize after a Jumu'ah prayer service outside the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge and mosque in the Brooklyn borough of New York.  The New York Police Department targeted the mosque as a part of a terrorism enterprise investigation beginning in 2003, spying on it for years. On Tuesday, April 15, 2014, the NYPD confirmed that it has disbanded the special unit that operated that surveillance program. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
By JAKE PEARSON and TOM HAYS Associated Press
Posted 1 hour ago
Back to top ^