A three-day, excessive heat warning issued Wednesday morning by the National Weather Service is now underway in Northwest Indiana for Thursday through Saturday.
Rain, thunderstorms and hail are in the forecast today. Strong to severe storms are possible, according to NWS officials, with the biggest threats being damaging winds and heavy rainfall with localized flooding.
High temperatures are expected to reach the upper 90s with heat index values between 105 and 110 degrees, which prompted the Region-wide warning that also extends to parts of Northern Illinois, according to NWS officials.
"Have a cool place to shelter from the heat. Avoid outdoor activity, especially strenuous ones, during the peak heating times of the day," officials said. "Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors."
NWS officials said hot weather and high humidity can make for a potentially dangerous combination, especially for the elderly, children, pets and those with pre-existing heath conditions.
A NIPSCO spokesperson said it wasn't weather-related and that a squirrel got into a substation, which blew a transformer in the area and prompted the blackout.
Detective Cmdr. Jeffrey Cook said this affected traffic lights on U.S. 30 and U.S. 41 near Indianapolis Boulevard, causing heavy delays in the area. But all lights are "back on functioning as normal now."
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About 1,600 people in Gary and 600 people in Hammond were without power as of 9:15 a.m.
Communities in the Region may be offering cooling centers due to the hot temperatures. These locations have been used in the past as warming and cooling centers, but be sure to call ahead to verify hours. Are we missing a location? Is a listed location no longer valid? Email our editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Olivia is the morning cops/breaking news reporter at The Times. She spends her time monitoring traffic and weather reports, scanning crime logs and reading court documents. The Idaho native and University of Idaho grad has been with The Times since 2019.