Storm leaves thousands without power

2013-06-24T19:48:00Z 2013-06-25T06:43:03Z Storm leaves thousands without powerTimes Staff nwitimes.com
June 24, 2013 7:48 pm  • 

A strong line of thunderstorms knocked out power to about 49,000 homes in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties Monday evening.

The storm struck at about 6:15 p.m. causing widespread damage, NIPSCO spokeswoman Kathleen Szot said.

Crews were assessing damages and working to restore power late into the night, Szot said.

The storm packing winds of up to 78 mph traveled east taking down tree limbs and power lines, Matt Friedlein, meteorologist with the National Weather Service said.

National Weather Service spotters reported large tree limbs brought down by the storm  in Whiting, Friedlein said. There were reported gusts of winds traveling at 70 mph. 

Winds gusting at between 70 and 80 mph for several minutes blew down high-tension lines and tree limbs in Griffith.

The storm knocked down several power lines on Fisher Street near Calumet Avenue in Munster. A traffic light was also damaged causing traffic delays.

A total of 4,245 members of the Kankakee Valley REMC were without power as of 8:45 p.m., spokeswoman Amanda Steeb said. The outages spanned the service region, from Chesterton in Porter County to parts of Starke and Pulaski counties. The REMC has about 18,000 members.

ComEd reported at 8:30 p.m. there were 32,684 customers in the south suburbs without power.

The National Weather Service reported gusts of winds traveled through Portage at 76 mph.

Gusts of up to 72 mph were reported at the Gary Chicago Airport in Gary, and of up to 78 mph along the Lake Michigan shoreline near Burns Harbor, Friedlein said.

Trees and other damage was reported throughout the region, including Hammond, Highland, East Chicago, LaPorte, Chesterton and Lansing.

The storm knocked out power to parts of Crown Point, including to the City Hall, 101 N. East St. and to traffic signals along Main Street. A Board of Zoning Appeals meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday was canceled due to the power outage.

Jamie Enderlen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Northwest Indiana was expected to be spared from overnight thunderstorms.

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