customers were still without power in Chesterton this morning, and could
still be without power until Friday, NIPSCO was reporting this morning.
company’s service territory, some 19,700 customers remained in the dark as
of 6:30 a.m. today, down from 95,000 at the peak of Monday evening’s storm.
Most of the
affected customers in Chesterton were located in the area of 22nd Street and
West Morgan Ave., where a downed tree snagged wires, NIPSCO spokesperson
Megan Henning told the Chesterton Tribune. Another cluster of
customers was located along C.R. 700N in Liberty and Portage townships, she
NIPSCO is calling
Monday’s event a “derecho,” which according to the National Weather Service
(NWS) is a fairly rare event typically occurring in the humid summer weather
of the Ohio Valley: “a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated
with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms.” Damage caused by a
derecho is usually “directed in one direction along a relatively straight
swath,” NWS says.
restoration efforts over the first 36 hours after Monday’s storm were
somewhat hampered by a shortage of line crews, a number of which had been
dispatched to the East Coast to assist in storm recovery efforts there.
Those crews were recalled on Tuesday and additional mutual aid units from
other utilities mustered, and at 6:30 a.m. today an additional 300 line
workers were on the ground in Northwest Indiana, Henning said.
Even so, it may not
be until Friday--and for some few customers until Saturday--before the power
is back on in every NIPSCO household, the company said. “We recommend
customers make the plans necessary to keep themselves and their families
safe during this time frame,” Henning said. “We understand that any service
outage is an inconvenience and thank you for your understanding during our
restoration process begins with repairing large transmission and
distribution lines that supply electricity to large numbers of customers in
large geographic areas, including critical customers such as hospitals and
emergency response,” the company said. “Repairs to other lines that serve
smaller groups of customers can’t be made until the larger lines feeding
electricity to those areas are repaired.”
“When crews work on
damaged trees during storms, they focus on repairs that are critical to our
facilities and to restoring power and do not clean up or remove branches or
debris that may be left behind,” NIPSCO added. “Contact your local municipal
officials for more information on storm debris disposal.”
John Schnadenberg told the Tribune that, in the main, the town dodged
a bullet. No public street-trees were downed in the storm but in five or six
locations private trees, or large limbs from private trees, came down on
public rights-of-way. Those the Street Department removed, he said.
say that a big tree in Dogwood Park West was lost to the storm.
that over the years the Street Department has aggessively pursued a
hazard-tree removal program, specifically targeting those sick or dead
street-trees which high winds are likely to topple. “We take ‘em down,” he
said. “That makes a big difference in these storms.”
At 6:30 a.m. today
NIPSCO was reporting the following outage totals elsewhere:
-- Valparaiso: 806.
-- Portage: 1,230.
-- Gary: 6,208.
-- Westville: 29.
-- Kouts: 71.
-- Michigan City:
-- LaPorte: 65.