Thousands remain without power after gusty storms

2013-06-25T18:48:00Z 2013-06-26T09:16:13Z Thousands remain without power after gusty stormsTimes Staff nwitimes.com
June 25, 2013 6:48 pm  • 

Restoration and cleanup efforts continued Tuesday after a powerful storm took down tree limbs and power lines Monday as it moved through Northwest Indiana.

As of 8 p.m., NIPSCO reported more than 18,651 customers without power, the bulk of which were in Munster, Merrillville, Gary, Hammond, and Highland. More than 87,000 customers were without power at the peak of the storm.

NIPSCO representatives said local crews were being assisted by contractors from several Midwestern states in working around the clock to restore power. Many of the repairs were expected to continue overnight. Some customers might not have power restored until Thursday.

ComEd reported about 26,882 customers remained without power as of 8 p.m., with most of the outages in Cook County. About 270,000 ComEd customers lost power at the peak of the storm. As of 8 p.m., about 16,084 customers in the south suburbs remained without power.

ComEd said it had restored power to about 80 percent of those affected by outages by Tuesday. Customers, especially those in the south suburbs, could remain without power until tonight, according to a news release.

The company had about 500 crews working to restore power.

Amanda Steeb, spokeswoman for Kankakee Valley REMC, said 4,245 customers were without power at the peak of the storm due to high winds and rain taking down power lines and breaking poles. Service was restored to all customers as of 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Highland police reported traffic lights were out on Indianapolis Boulevard and urged motorists traveling in that area to be cautious.

Roosevelt College and Career Academy in Gary was closed Tuesday because of a power outage, officials said.

In Munster, officials reported more than 200 trees were knocked down, 10 traffic signals lost power and back-up generators were used to keep pump stations running. In the 500 block of Fisher Street, eight power poles were damaged during the storm.

There also were reports of trees that caused damage to houses and vehicles in Munster. Trees and branches were pushed to the side of the road, but officials said it might take up to two weeks to completely clean up the debris.

There were reports of minor injures at Munster Community Pool in Community Park. There were about 85 people at the pool when the storm passed through the area. A boy was hit by a chair, and a woman was hit in the head by an umbrella, said Barbara Holajter, superintendent of recreation with the Munster Parks and Recreation Department.

An umbrella flew from the pool to Munster High School. The pool was reopened by noon Tuesday.

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