Chesterton Tribune



More rain, more wind, more outages; June a very wet month

Back To Front Page


Monday’s double-dipper of a storm isn’t really the story (although tens of thousands of NIPSCO’s customers did lose power).

This is the story: Monday’s rain event was only the most recent in a depressingly saturating series of rain events which made this past June easily the wettest month in years.

Total rainfall at Chesterton’s wastewater treatment plant in June: 7.68 inches, Chief Operator Bill Williams told the Chesterton Tribune today.

If you want, go ahead and deduct from that total the 1.57 inches which fell over the last 24 hours, and you’d still have the wettest month in nearly three years and possibly much longer.

Compare: in the wettest month of 2013, April, 6.02 inches of rain fell; in the wettest month in 2012, July, only 5.7 inches fell.

So yeah, June’s been pretty soggy.

Williams did say that no sewage bypass was necessary last night. He and his crew had a night of it even so, manning the plant until around 3 a.m.


As of 9 a.m. today, 75,918 NIPSCO customers were still in the dark, from a high of approximately 86,000.

Of those, 2,451 were in Porter; 529 in Beverly Shores; 2,500 in Valparaiso; and none--officially--in Chesterton.

Outages in other places: 3,012 in Michigan City; 2,499 in LaPorte; 2,715 in Gary; 5,577 in Hammond; and 5,428 in Lowell.

Downed Trees

Some rogue gusts did down a few trees in town. Perhaps the most notable: a tree in the 170 block of East Porter Ave., directly across from the Sand Creek Country Club, was altogether uprooted from the ground. And along with it, a natural-gas main, Capt. Aimee Gilbert of the Chesterton Fire Department said.

The CFD responded to the scene at 6:36 a.m. today and remained there until 7:38 a.m., when a NIPSCO crew arrived. “You could hear the gas hissing,” Gilbert said.

No evacuations were necessary, however, from the Villages of Sand Creek subdivision, Gilbert added, because no high levels of gas were detected.

Elsewhere, in the 900 block of South Jackson Blvd., a tree fell on a house, Gilbert said. “There wasn’t much we could do. There was exposure to the elements. We gave them information about board-up companies and cleared the scene.”

Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg reported on three other downed trees:

* One across East Porter Ave., just east of South Calumet Road. The Street Department was able to open the road almost immediately, Schnadenberg said.

* On 15th Street between West Indiana Ave. and West Morgan Ave. a tree fell from private property onto a vehicle and into the roadway.

* On Westchester Ave. between South Jackson Blvd. and 15th Street one tree on private property toppled onto another and both came down in the roadway.

“The first round of storms wasn’t so bad,” Schnadenberg noted. “The second one was a lot worse. The winds were gustier. There was a lot more debris. And a lot of lightning. The lightning was so bad we left (15th Street and Westchester Ave.) closed overnight. With that lightning we weren’t going to chance it.”


Posted 7/1/2014