Thousands without power again after latest round of storms

2013-06-28T20:45:00Z 2013-06-29T10:37:04Z Thousands without power again after latest round of stormsTimes Staff nwitimes.com
June 28, 2013 8:45 pm  • 

Thousands of region residents were without power yet again in the wake of another round of brief but strong thunderstorms with damaging winds Thursday night.

The power outages forced the closure of Purdue University Calumet. Wes Lukoshus, spokesman for PUC, said all of Friday's summer classes were canceled as a result.

NIPSCO reported slightly more than 5,600 customers were without power Friday night, down from 28,000 at the peak of the storm.

NIPSCO dispatched a mobile customer service team to answer questions and provide water and other refreshments beginning at 10 a.m. Friday at the intersection of Columbia Avenue and Southeastern Street in Hammond.

Hammond also opened its police and fire stations as cooling centers to anyone in need.

Amy Wigsmoen lives with her husband and three daughters ranging in age from 6 to 12 at the dead end of Cherry Street in Hammond.

Wigsmoen's home is just northeast of the intersection of 169th Street and Columbia Avenue, which is surrounded by lane closures due to construction.

"When the storm went though, it was only a five-minute storm, but with all the trees and branches down, we were literally trapped with no way to get out, without power and all the construction," Wigsmoen said.

Several traffic signals on Calumet Avenue in Hammond were out Friday as a result of the power outages and caused traffic delays.

In Munster, signals were out Friday morning at Fran Lin Parkway and 45th Street and Columbia Avenue and Ridge Road.

John Bach, public works director in Highland, said some lanes remained closed in the 8500 block of Kennedy Avenue there Friday morning because of downed power lines.

Bach said Monday storms hit the far northern end of town near the Little Calumet River the hardest, but damage from Thursday's storm was more scattered throughout town.

Thursday's storm brought 70 mph winds, lightning and hail, which brought down power lines and poles. NIPSCO representatives said crews were still working to restore power to the more than 105,000 people impacted by Monday night's storms when the Thursday storms hit.

The National Weather Service reported there were isolated thunderstorms Friday afternoon and night, but they didn't appear to be severe.

The Schererville Fire Department said traffic signals at Burr Street and Pine Island Drive were out Friday night.

Businesses and residences south of U.S. 30 and near those streets also were without power.

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