Jim Ruge, owner of
the Schoolhouse Shop & Antiques on C.R. 1500N in Westchester Township, is
reporting three NIPSCO poles snapped near his business and at least five
trees down, after Tuesday night’s storm.
this morning 413 NIPSCO customers in Porter, 968 in Valparaiso, and three in
Beverly Shores were still without power.
electrical service himself, was unable to open the Schoolhouse Shop
today--told the Chesterton Tribune that “it looks like a tornado went
through, lines are hanging down everywhere”; while a Tribune employee
who lives on Brummitt Road in Pine Township said that “it looks like someone
went through the neighborhood with a wood chipper, everything’s shredded.”
At 10:58 a.m. today
NIPSCO was reporting 1,637 total outages in its service territory--down from
more than 20,000 at the peak of the storm--with more than 360 specific
“incidents and cases of damage.”
“The storm affected
customers largely in the Lake, Porter, and LaPorte county areas, with the
most significant damage experienced in Valparaiso and Porter, where more
assessment and repair work are needed,” NIPSCO said.
hopeful--“based on the best information we have at this time”--that power
would be largely restored to the Valparaiso and Porter areas between 6 and
10 p.m. today; and to the Michigan City areas between 12 and 2 p.m. today.
“Your safety is
critical,” NIPSCO said. “And we understand that any service outage is an
inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding while crews
continue to work around the clock.”
assessment of the damage, NIPSCO’s 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
in hospitals and emergency response,” NIPSCO noted. “Repairs to other lines
that serve smaller 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 and
debris that may be left behind,” NIPSCO added. “Contact your local municipal
officials for more information on storm debris removal.”
At 6:54 p.m.
Tuesday a storm spotter in Portage reported a wind gust estimated at 60
miles per hour with numerous trees and power lines down, the National
Weather Service said.
The Town of
Chesterton, on the other hand, fared mostly well, Street Commissioner John
Schnadenberg said. Perhaps half a dozen large tree limbs were downed but no
actual trees on municipal property were lost. “For the most part it was just
a lot of tree debris and leaf litter.”
that the Street Department removes 30 or so hazard trees every year,
precisely to keep them from toppling in storms.
A tree on private
property did fall on a house, however, in the 200 block of Westchester Ave.