I&M restoration

I&M crews and contractors were working Saturday to restore power following an ice storm that knocked out power for thousands of customers in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan. 

ELKHART — Crews continued their efforts to restore power after a winter ice storm caused extensive damage to equipment and disrupted service to more than 34,000 Indiana Michigan Power customers.

More than 90% of affected customers are in the South Bend/Elkhart area as snow fell overnight causing additional outages, I&M said Saturday. 

City officials were opening additional warming shelters. 

“This storm has caused some unexpected and pretty widespread power outages," Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson said. "We know crews are working to restore power, but it could take a couple of days. This is especially dangerous during this time of year. Grateful we can open these facilities to provide some relief from the cold.”

Fire stations listed below will be open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. each day while power is out. Masks are required and will be provided if necessary.

  • Elkhart Fire 1, 500 East St.
  • Elkhart Fire 2, 300 W. Lusher Ave.
  • Elkhart Fire 3, 1612 W. Mishawaka Road
  • Elkhart Fire 4, 1037 Oak St.
  • Elkhart Fire 5, 515 Simpson Ave.
  • Elkhart Fire 7, 801 C.R. 6

After 8 p.m., emergency shelter may be found at Faith Mission, 801 Benham Ave. More information: 574-293-3406, Ext. 101.

About 200 Indiana Michigan Power employees and contractors were working amid the ice, snow and sludge to restore power. 

Facing more than 1,000 separate outages, I&M established estimated times of restoration.

South Bend/Elkhart area:

  • 75% restored by 11 p.m. Sunday
  • 100% restored by 3 p.m. Monday

Southwest Michigan:

  • 100% restored by 6 p.m. Sunday

Fort Wayne area:

  • 100% restored by 11 p.m. Saturday

Additional crews from Fort Wayne, Muncie, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia were assisting I&M crews and contractors in South Bend/Elkhart and Southwest Michigan.

About 30,475 customers in the South Bend/Elkhart were affected by the outages. Fewer than 50 in the Fort Wayne/Muncie and Marion area were affected. 

Another 3,350 I&M customers in Michigan also were affected, including about 1,500 in the Three Rivers area, 1,240 in the Buchanan area and about 580 in Benton Harbor. 

NIPSCO also reported widespread power outages across northern Indiana affecting more than 24,000 customers, including about 1,200 in Goshen and more than 8,800 in LaPorte.

Midwest Energy & Communications was reporting about 3,400 customers without power, including two substations without transmission. Outages are widespread across the southern portion of the southwest Michigan service area and into northern Indiana, the utility said. 

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