By KEVIN NEVERS
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
Of those, 2,451
were in Porter; 529 in Beverly Shores; 2,500 in Valparaiso; and
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.
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.”
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.”