Chesterton Tribune



5.18 inches of rain; two lightning strikes

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More than five inches of rain doused Duneland over the weekend, with temporary flooding reported of several roadways.

More seriously, a lightning strike caused a fire in a vacant home in Liberty Township, while another lightning strike damaged a home in the Tamarack subdivision in Chesterton.

Begin with the rain: a total of 5.18 inches of rain was recorded at the Chesterton wastewater treatment plant. The bulk of it fell on Friday: 3.45 inches. Another 0.40 inches fell on Saturday and then 1.33 additional inches on Sunday.

There was no bypass of wastewater over the weekend at the plant, although the 1.2-million gallon storage basin was filled nearly to capacity, Chief Operator Bill Williams reported: 989,400 gallons.

“We did have a few roads flood temporarily,” Chesterton Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg told the Chesterton Tribune today. “The same ones that usually flood in heavy rains. There was standing water on Windridge Drive in Tanglewood and Grace Lane in Westchester South. There was also water on Idaho Street in Western Acres.”

“The storm sewer system was running at capacity but once it stopped raining the water all receded,” Schnadenberg added. “All in all, we didn’t have any really bad issues.”

Liberty Fire

At 5 p.m. Saturday, however, the Liberty Township Volunteer Fire Department responded to a residential fire in the 700 north block of C.R. 50W, attributed to a lightning strike.

Deputy Fire Chief Brandon Cotton of the South Haven Volunteer FD was first on the scene and reported smoke showing and flames in the rear of the residence. “Firefighters made an attack on the fire and were able to quickly extinguish it,” the LTVFD said. “The fire was contained to the rear of the structure.”

The home appeared to be vacant at the time.

Assisting at the scene were the South Haven Volunteer and Union Township Volunteer FDs, the Porter County Sheriff’s Police, and Porter EMS.

Lightning Strike at Tamarack

At 8:31 p.m. Friday, during the height of the storm, Chesterton firefighters responded to a lightning strike in the 1000 block of Lombardi Court, Capt. Aimee Gilbert told the Tribune this morning.

Although smoke was reported in the residence immediately following the strike, it had dissipated by firefighters’ arrival. The wall and ceiling in the living room were discovered to have been damaged by strike, and firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to check for fire or heat both inside and outside the house. None was found.

Two breakers were also tripped by the strike, and firefighters advised the homeowner not to activate the breakers until an electrician had checked the box.

The CFD cleared the scene at 9:10 p.m.


Posted 9/30/2019







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