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Power outages, flooding remain in wake of icy blast

Power outages, flooding remain in wake of icy blast

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Thousands remained without power Tuesday after Monday's ice storm, and NIPSCO said some may have to wait until Wednesday to have it restored.

NIPSCO reported some 6,000 customers without power at 7:15 p.m., down from 29,000 on Monday afternoon.

About 65 customers in the Valparaiso area still did not have power as of 7:15 p.m. Tuesday. The company said it expected to complete all repairs in the area by 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Power was expected to be restored for 90 percent of customers in Michigan City, LaPorte and Westville areas by 4 p.m. Tuesday and for all customers by 6 p.m. Wednesday.

NIPSCO had more than 500 people working to restore power Tuesday, including crews brought in from other parts of the state, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio, the company said.

Kankakee Valley REMC spokeswoman Amanda Steeb said 85 customers remained without power about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, down from 3,300 at the peak of the outages Monday. Most of those remaining without power were in Starke County.

The cooperative expected to restore power to most members by Tuesday night, though some individual, scattered outages might continue after that time frame, she said.

"Although ice is always tough on an electrical system, this storm particularly brought many challenges with the quick accumulation of ice sticking to the wires and causing them to sag and break," Steeb said. "These repairs took additional time to address and manage due to the significance of the damage."

Steeb said crews worked through the night making repairs and would continue to do so until power is restored.

The bulk of the outages were blamed on downed power lines burdened by ice and strong winds.

Indiana State Police for the Lowell District and the Indiana Toll Road said roads were clear Tuesday with no icy spots reported.

The National Weather Service reported most of the Region saw an average of 2 inches of rain Monday.

The rains caused the Kankakee River to swell and prompted flood warnings and advisories along the river.

The river was at 10.85 feet at Shelby on Tuesday night. Flood stage there is 9 feet. The river is expected to rise to 12.1 feet by Wednesday evening. At 12.5 feet, water flows over portions of U.S. 41.

At Kouts, the Kankakee was at 10.5 feet. Flood stage at Kouts is 11 feet. The river is expected to rise at that location to 11.3 feet by Thursday evening. At 11 feet, agricultural areas begin to flood and backwaters flood drainage ditches.

At Dunns Bridge, flood stage is 10 feet. The river was at 9.24 feet Tuesday night. It is expected to rise to 10.2 feet there by Thursday morning and begin receding.

The Kankakee River at Davis was at 11.16 feet Tuesday night. Flood stage there is 10 feet. At 11 feet, flooding of secondary roads near the river begins.

More winter-like temperatures are expected to stick around at least through New Year's Day. Tuesday's high of 35 is among the warmest in the long-term forecast, with highs of below freezing expected Wednesday through Friday.


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