Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Thunderstorms go easy on Duneland

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The massive line of thunderstorms which weather forecasters were warning could cause massive damage massively on Wednesday came and went and didn’t do much of anything at all, at least in Duneland.

At 8 a.m. today, there was only one NIPSCO customer in Chesterton reporting a power outage.

“We dodged a bullet big time,” Chesterton Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg told the Chesterton Tribune today. “We had pumps and chainsaws and people ready to go. But we didn’t need them. You prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”

Down in south county the story was a little different but only a little. David James, deputy superintendent of the Porter County Highway Department, reported two areas which did see some tree damage, in the Lake O’ the Woods Club area immediately south of Valparaiso and in the Lakes of the Four Seasons area north of Hebron.

“But on the whole nothing major,” James said. All roads were open by midnight. No water damage. No major power outages. We had four men out from two crews and we were able to get dressed up by midnight.”

At 8 a.m. NIPSCO was reporting a total of 7,655 juiceless customers, with most of them clustered in Merrillville (1,393) and Lowell (1,173). In Valparaiso 196 customers were in the dark, in Hebron 292, and in Gary 5.

At the peak of the storm, NIPSCO said this morning, 44,000 customers system-wide were without power. “The outages were primarily down to broken utility poles, downed electrical wire, and other related storm damage as a result of heavy wind, lightning, and tree damage.”

Ind. 2 Closed

The Indiana Department of Transportation, on the other hand, was reporting the closure of Ind. 2 between U.S. 231 and I-65, in extreme southwest Porter County and southeast Lake County, after power line towers fell across the roadway.

“Crews are working to clear the roadway but they estimate it could be three days before this stretch re-opens due to the scale of the damage,” INDOT said. “Avoid the area until crews can re-open the road.”

“Elsewhere in the Northwest Indiana District of INDOT, high water is present on some roadways but at this time no other roads in the district are closed,” INDOT added. “INDOT crews continue to patrol state roads, clear debris, post high water signs, and will close roads as needed.”

“If you come across a flooded roadway, turn around,” INDOT warned. “Never drive through standing water. According to the National Weather Service, most flooding deaths occur in automobiles. Six inches of standing water is enough to stall a car and a foot of water will float many vehicles.”

 

Posted 6/13/2013